Everyone knows how easy it is for Hollywood to misinterpret popular video games and comic books when they’re translated to the big screen. Whether it’s Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Superman, film studios tend to struggle with capturing the essence of the source material. But now in the age of Adobe AfterEffects and YouTube, the fans strike back by making their adaptations of these properties at home in the form of mock trailers.
Some of these amateur filmmakers use mashups of clips from earlier movies while others put out the time and effort into finding actors, locations, and creating their own props and costumes. Either way, they’re making Hollywood finally take notice by not only capturing their interest but also exemplifying how to get these characters adapted the right way. These are some of the few that stand out on the web:
SUPERMAN: THE LEGEND
This mini adaptation of the “Death and Return of Superman” storyline from the ’90s was made by YouTube user estropajo89 using movie clips from 2006’s Superman Returns as well as kashchei2003’s Superman: Doomsday fan film. It also utilized movie clips from The Dark Knight and Watchmen to resemble the kind of Superman film that fans really wanted to see: More Batman-like darkness and less of the tongue-in-cheek style of the earlier films which starred the late Christopher Reeve. It’s subtle but suspenseful at the same time.
MEGA MAN: THE MOVIE
Filmmaker Adam Kelly put in a tremendous amount of effort with costumes design, 3D modeling, and effects compositing to create his vision for the ultimate Mega Man movie. The long running popular video game franchise from Capcom has never hit the big screen despite several animated incarnations on television. But this particular take on the character looks and feels more grounded in realism without having one too many cartoonish-looking bad guys like the games do. Despite the small budget look this trailer has, Kelly does capture the kind of drama and intensity that a major Hollywood adaptation of Mega Man would need.
TERMINATOR VS. ROBOCOP
The dream matchup between these two popular cyborgs from the ’80s was famously depicted in the Dark Horse comic book series by Frank Miller. Although box office and legal issues have prevented a film adaptation from seeing the light of day, that has not stopped ZiggoTheAlien from creating arguably the best fan trailer of this guaranteed hit. Using clips from the Robocop films and the Terminator sequels, he ties in the creation of the evil A.I. system Skynet from Terminator with the corporate bad guys in OCP from Robocop to make both worlds collide with massive explosions galore. This fan trailer will make you yearn badly for the real thing.
THUNDERCATS: THE MOVIE
Of any of the fan trailers I’ve seen, this one impressed me the most. This take on the classic ’80s cartoon series uses clips from various action films from the last 30 years except it takes the clip mash-up idea one step further. Using programs such as Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, WormyT on YouTube was able to rotoscope the exact looks of the popular Thundercats characters on A-list actors such as Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, and Hugh Jackman as well as dubbing over their voices with the exact voices from the cartoon series. The trailer has gained more than 6 million views on YouTube to date. It has to be seen to believe.