Metal Gear, Earthworm Jim & Metroid: 3 Game IPs Ready for Streaming

When we think about the eclectic programming on streamers like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, the games can pay off handsomely on projects normally passed by the major networks. Would we know for certain if HBO would have given a series like The Witcher or Castlevania a shot on their premium network before HBO Max came out? Both series have seen success and diverse programming is thriving like never before. Even AppleTV+ has a comedy about a game company that develops an MMORPG called Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet. Here are three more IPs I think that can work at least On-Demand in Metal Gear, Earthworm Jim, and Metroid.

Metal Gear, Earthworm Jim, Metroid, Game IPs Needed on TV Streaming
Metal Gear Solid, Earthworm Jim, and Metroid Prime. Images courtesy of Konami, Shiny Entertainment/Playmates Interactive, and Nintendo

Metal Gear

Would you believe Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear franchise is over 30 years old? With tons of espionage IPs in the market from James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan (side rant: Why does so many spy franchises' names all start with "J"?), and Mission: Impossible out there, why can't Japan's greatest spy IP be inserted into the mix for TV and film? Beginning in 1987, Metal Gear spawned 23 titles. Its Solid series, which saw the franchise transition to 3D sold over 49 million copies alone. With its own established timeline spanning almost 50 years, there's a ton of mythos to untangle that proves TV is the perfect medium for its live-action adaptation. As far as any suitable platform. It seems like it would be a slam dunk for Netflix or even Hulu, which is desperately searching for signature programming when it's not relying on FX. Amazon would be a reach given their current commitment to Jack Ryan. The biggest complications from such a work is that Kojima no longer works for Konami, which owns the rights of the IP. There could be some amicable agreement where Kojima could have creative control of the series assuming he wants to work with them again or just utilize the IP as they are now creating new content without him. I would argue the best way for the series to achieve success is to have Kojima have some level of input.  As far as actors go, David Hayter's been Solid Snake's primary voice, but was taken over by 24 and Designated Survivor actor Keifer Sutherland in the games. The Fugitive star can definitely lead the series, but whether he wants to take on the physical challenges as he did for eight seasons on 24 is another.

Earthworm Jim

Given the success of adult animated series in Rick & Morty, Big Mouth, and Central Park, I think we're due from a comeback from Earthworm Jim. Those familiar with the franchise from the 1990s know of the kind of absurd humor and fun platformer with pop culture references and wisecracks. The story follows Jim who gains the powers to anatomically move like a human through a spacesuit. He's about to run, leap, jump have, and carries a machine gun that can be interchanged with heavier artillery. The franchise spawned sequels both in 2D and 3D. It was also adapted to a short-lived children's cartoon. Those who grew up with the game can likely appreciate newfound life on a streamer. If Dragon's Lair can have renewed life with Ryan Reynolds on board, the universe of Earthworm Jim will definitely find a similar audience with millennials and beyond. It doesn't matter if it's live-action CG or animated. There's far more than enough whacky characters to go around with Psy-Crow, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, Evil the Cat, Bob the Killer Goldfish, Major Mucus, Professor Money-For-A-Head, Princess What's-Her-Face at least to appeal the Adult Swim crowd.

Metroid

If Cowboy Bebop, The Mandalorian, and Killjoys tell you anything, it's that space bounty hunting is fun. What better than to launch a live-action/CG series than from Nintendo's most popular female protagonist in Samus Aran? Given Nintendo's love-hate relationship with media, it's understandable how they might be skeptical to adapt other IP to film (that's not Pokemon). Fans clearly warmed to Warner Bros' Detective Pikachu (2019) and while Reynolds can't star in every single video game IP, it shows Nintendo CAN have a relationship with Hollywood despite how poorly-received Super Mario Bros (1993) was. Seeing streamers like to take chances, Nintendo can have a larger future on TV than they realize than just anime. The Metroid franchise according to Nintendo Life sold around 18.23 million from 14 games over the course of its 33-year history. A Metroid TV series provides an opportunity to put women on both ends of the story spectrum as the primary protagonist and antagonist with Samus' rival being Mother Brain. It's something rarely seen since aside likes of the Alien franchise, Universal's The Hunt (2019), and Netflix's I Am Mother (2019).

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.