Metroid Fan Film Reminds Us Hollywood Should Really Make a Deal With Nintendo

Over the summer I said I couldn’t believe a Metroid movie hadn’t been made yet. Perhaps this new fan film dubbed The Sky Calls will get them moving?

Rainfall Films has just released this new 11-minute video game adaptation which resulted from a fan vote. You may remember them from their fantastic Wonder Woman fan film starring Rileah Vanderbilt as Princess Diana. This time it’s Nerdist’s Jessica Chobot who steps into the famous shoes of Samus Aran of Metroid.

Directed by Sam Balcomb and also starring America Young (motion capture/stunts), it’s easy to see the short takes on a very Alien vibe. As described on their site:

Instead of using a modern approach, director Balcomb chose to incorporate a style more in tune with the types of films that inspired the first Metroid game in 1986 (which named one of its creatures after Ridley Scott), favoring exploration and isolation over action spectacle. Techniques including VHS transfers and custom scanned 16mm film stock were implemented to give the short its retro look. Composer Dodson’s original score pays homage to composers Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner, while the sound design was specifically tailored to evoke both sci-fi classics and the video game’s iconic universe.

What strikes me as odd is there’s no mention in the YouTube description about who worked on the special effects and graphics the film relies so heavily on. However, this title card at the end gives us that info.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 11.51.43 AM

As a Metroid fan, I thought the short was pretty great and would love to see more. If you’re interested you can find more info on Rainfall’s Metroid landing page.


36 Responses to “Metroid Fan Film Reminds Us Hollywood Should Really Make a Deal With Nintendo”

  1. frodobatmanvader says:

    Well, that was pretty cool! That’s more or less exactly what I’d want from a Metroid movie: a sense of isolation, high concept sci-fi, and the occasional things going boom. It’s too bad they didn’t have enough money in their budget for a monster fight, but I still hope this leads to something great.

    Did anyone else find Samus’ absolutely perfect makeup distracting, though? I just know that if I were in deep space, I probably wouldn’t bother…

    • I had never noticed how well the 2001 style really fit with Metroid sensibilities, but that trippy end sequence here hits all the right notes. The pacing for this really set the tone well. Though I will say when the suit blacked out I was expecting it to come back online with a monster right in her face. Alas, the budget.

  2. Miles Harbord says:

    This is probably a long ago debated thing, but Samus/Seamus is usually prounced Shamus, it’s Irish… Why is it being pronounced Samus and not Shamus?

  3. This thing is incredible. The added grain effects really sells it, and the music is perfect. Who do I have to throw money at to get a feature length version.

  4. MatzeNeinderandere says:

    The Valley Girl accent is offputing. but aside from that, perfect looks.

    • frodobatmanvader says:

      It’s the vocal fry in her voice. It’s so obnoxious.

      • Oh my god, my wife and I make fun of people that do this all the time. I had no idea we weren’t hallucinating the epidemic.

        • frodobatmanvader says:

          You– You changed your pic? Now how am I supposed to imagine you as a crusty, sardonic pirate that’s surfing the web-y seas and dispensing pearls of sarcasm, huh?

          Goodness, you’re selfish… did you not think about how this would effect ME?

          • I feel terrible about it, but I just incorporated Disqus into my comic’s site (I’m messing about with WordPress for the first time) and a pirate seemed off in that venue. I realize how jarring it is, though…the pirate will return. Hell, maybe WordPress will go away. Tumblr was simpler…but. I am TORN.

          • Have you tried Tapastic? I’ve got my own webcomic, and I have a ComicPress/WordPress setup for my own site but host the thing on Tapastic simultaneously. I’m honestly thinking about dropping the solo site just to save money at this point, but I really love the layout I came up with for it.

          • Ohhh shit, you do. Bookmarking. I’ll check out Tapastic, if only because somebody managed to suggest “tap ass” as a company name and no one caught it. But also because it sounds good. Looking into it pronto.

          • Oh why thank you. I had to learn some CSS tricks to get the background to change with the time of day without the use of an add-on, but I think the result is worth it.

            And hopefully Tapastic will be a good platform. I’m liking it a lot myself, but it does mean I have to keep two different sizes of all my pages.

          • Which I noticed, and…which might take me out of it, actually. I’m just the writer, and resizing…I’m not so sure.

          • Do you know what size your comics post at on your site? Because I’m comparing the width as seen on Tapastic to the width on your site, and honestly, they seem pretty close in size; just eyeballing it, Tapastic almost looks bigger. I can’t remember what I have my comic width set to on my site, but I want to say 1000px. There’s just a 60px difference between it and Tapastic (940px), which so far has not really been a big deal for me.

          • Ah, really? I was thinking it had to be significantly shrunk. Cool. I’ll look into it (again).

          • Nah man, 940px is just slightly smaller than the release size of my comic, and looks to be nearly what your release size currently is.

          • Hey, I had a quick webcomic related question and this was the easiest way I knew how to contact you. If you don’t mind me asking, who do you host through, and what kind of a plan do you have? I’m with BlueHost at the moment, but I’m about due for renewal and frankly, they’re too expensive for me. If you want to answer in an e-mail, you can contact me at , any advice would be very appreciated.

          • I replied briefly by email! I’m in a meeting, so e-mailing is more fun than paying attention, but alas…I must be present for some of this.

  5. Adam Blackhat says:

    Metroid and Zelda: two series I missed, having gone without a Nintendo during my video game formative years. But it seems good? If she isn’t in heels, like in Smash Bros.

    • My family was never into Zelda for some reason but Metroid was an early presence. I was the one in charge of keeping track of the passwords for the original game for my brother. :)

      • Adam Blackhat says:

        It’s amazing what a different having or not having a system makes.

        • WheelchairNinja says:

          Well there goes my theory that you’re secretly Jill’s brother Adam… ;-P

          • Adam Blackhat says:

            XD Ha, no. I’m just your mild-mannered commenter (and writer of plug plug). Many, many moons ago, I stumbled upon a geek site full of critical articles and an engaged comment section that wasn’t full of the usual jerks. I stuck with it. Lost my job, kept commenting while I searched and, eventually, found a new one, inspired all the while by this website and its writers, a group of people that had carved out a niche for themselves in an otherwise male-dominated industry. My wife and I even met one of them for soup and mousse! And, soon after, there was a disheartening corporate merger, then all of the writers that I admired started exiting. I still linger there, occasionally bursting with anger, mostly being an irritant, discouraged by the downward spiral I perceive, but when Jill reinvigorated The Nerdy Bird I was thrilled. As far as I’m concerned, wherever she sits, there’s a beacon in the black, and I’ll stick to her bright little corner of the Internet for as long as she’ll tolerate me.

          • <3

            Though the thought of my brother being a nudge on TMS makes me giggle.

          • Adam Blackhat says:

            I had to urban dictionary that — neeeat. I’m a nudge.

          • frodobatmanvader says:

            It’s funny, because at first I was like, “He’s a cop? How did Jill know that!?” Then I kept reading. Yeah, you’re definitely Jill’s nudge.

          • Ditto, the micro-confusion.

          • Oh good, I’m not the only one to feel like the old stomping ground isn’t quite the same. I like a lot of the conversation and people there, but it feels like it has gotten a little grumpy and mean spirited of late, in a way it didn’t used to be.

          • Yeah. I’d rather not get into specifics, since it’s entirely possible that I’m the one that’s changed.

            But I secretly believe that I never change, so.

          • WheelchairNinja says:

            Hey, with this site’s number one commenter having the same name as the author’s brother it’s not that far of a leap to make. Now if she has a sister named Angela to match the number six commenter (“Sixth? I was third just last week! Curse you, Van Winkle!!!”) that would *really* be freaky!

            Yeah, I’ve been a fan of That Mergered Site almost since its inception. Around the same time I discovered this cool geek girl blogger on Newsarama and realized she’s just like me! (Well OK, not exactly like me, but close enough… ;-) ) I was excited to see her join my favorite guide to geek girl culture and saddened when she left. I still visit that nexus of pop culture and the uncharted universe almost every day since it’s still better than 90% of the other nerdy news sites and the community is amazing, but I was really glad to see that blogger-turned-Editor-in-Chief return to her roots with her own site. As long as she doesn’t kick me off for making obnoxious wheelchair jokes all the time I look forward to enjoying this revamped blog for a good long while.

            And now I’m intrigued: which now-former editor did you have a meal with and how did that come about? If it was pre-merger and presumably not with Jill that only leaves two options.

          • It was Rebecca! She tolerated me more than most (and dare I say, seemed to like me?), so when my wife and I were planning a quick New York trip, I asked her if she’d have time to meet and greet. She did, making her the first official Internet person I have met irl that I talk about, and showed us a pretty great soup restaurant, suggested the killer mousse, and spent a few hours shmoozing with us before heading back to wherever it is she lives. Since this is New York, I assume it is either in a big building with her name on it, a firehouse, an abandoned subway line, or possibly a giant bird nest on a brownstone.

          • WheelchairNinja says:

            That’s awesome. I wish I could have met all the old editors at that NYCC event they had a few years back. The best TMS story I have is when I submitted a tip about a necklace I commissioned from an Etsy artist and they wrote a quick article about it… which then got picked up by io9! A friend of mine recognized it there and texted me late at night saying “You’re internet famous!” Next thing you know the page had over 10,000 views and the artist sold about fifty of the things!

          • That’s pretty great! Yeah, it was…the first time in a long, long time that I had gotten invested in an Internet community. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it again…certainly, I don’t have the time for it (though you can’t tell). Ah well. I hope everyone makes out OK.