What if Secret of Mana for the SNES was made into a movie? Who would play who? We’ve compiled a list of possibilities for the production of this amazing idea.
It would have to be a tossup between James Cameron based on his work for Avatar and Aliens or Edgar Wright based on his work on Scott Pilgrim Versus the World and The Adventures of TinTin depending on the direction of a serious movie or hilarious kids film. Personally, I’d want a more serious interpretation of the game giving it the much deserved respect as a video game way ahead of its time. It goes without saying that if either of these guys are directing, they would also be writers just because of how amazing their previous movies were as writer/director.
Without a doubt it’d have to be Yoko Shimura based on her collections of video game music including Final Fight, Street Fighter, Legend of Mana, and Kingdom Hearts among others. She is considered one of the best video game composers in the world. Her works are so popular their have been concerts devoted to playing music she has created. It is no wonder why big companies like Toshiba and Disney come to her for their games and commercials.
We also took the liberty to compile a list of possible actor choices based on previous roles, experience, and personality. No worries, Kristen Stewart isn’t here.
Randi (Boy), the 16 year old protagonist raised by the elderly and then banished for pulling the Mana sword out at a nearby fall with fellow friends Elliot and Timothy, goes on a journey to discover the evil plans of the Empire to destroy the fortress. We couldn’t deem anybody better for this job than Alexander Gould, who plays Shane from the hit TV series Weeds. We choose him because without a doubt this quirky badass kid would make a great hero with a power sword, plus we want to see this kid in action. We know he has it in him. We saw him bash Pilar’s head. Good work.
Purim (Girl) the 17 year old strong lady from Pandora got spunk as she objects with her father for an arranged marriage with a nobleman and looks for her lover Dyluck. We thought long and hard about this one. Who’s taller than Alex, spunky, and cool? None other than Elle Fanning based on her performance in Super 8. Yes, she may have not had an enormous amount of experience in fantasy film, but we see potential.
Popoie (Sprite) an unknown gender or age playful sprite with amnesia lost from home has an incredible amount of magical powers. It’s obvious that whoever plays this little guy would need extensive makeup, but we’d like to see none other than Zachary Gordon from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, take the reins to this role. Why? Kid is practically a sprite! With his wise-crack antics and some makeup, there is no need for anything more.
Dyluck (Purim’s lover), a general in the Pandoran army who leads an expedition to the Witch’s Forest to find Elinee and defeat her, however, he was captured and his body used for Thanatos to possess. Now thinking long and hard at trying to pair Elle Fanning with someone suitable for her, we had obviously considered Dyluck to be played by David Wenham from 300. However, being realistic we picked Hunter Parrish who plays Silas from Weeds. Both Silas and Dyluck are strong-willed characters who fight for what’s right. Dyluck a little more on the righteous side than Silas, but they are characters that take care of their closest allies in attempting to thwart evil’s plans.
Jema is a knight for the Old Republic who fought alongside Serin against the Empire. He is considered an important role in the story, but without giving too much away, we’ll say he helps Randi out. We can definitely see without a doubt Liam Neeson playing Jema. Having played Jedi master of the New Republic Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, he fits the part perfectly. We’re attempting to make this movie an Oscar winning movie. We need the best.
Timothy and Elliot (Randi’s “friends”) the mischievous cowards seem to befriend Randi but actually prove to nothing more than a bunch of bigots. Nothing against these kids, but Rico Rodriguez and Nolan Gould from Modern Family would make a great Elliot and Timothy respectively. Kids’ got talent!
Elder, as the leader of the village of Potos, he takes Randi in as a young child and raises him. When Randi pulls the Mana Sword out, it is the Elder that does everything to petition against it. Sadly, he is incapable to stop Randi from being forced out. Even with a minor role, we believe Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica would play a great elder. Our reason? Colonel Saul Tigh is f**king awesome!
Cannonman is not necessarily one man but many brothers that look exactly alike and create the remarkable Cannon Travel service, still not sure how our heroes don’t die from the fall but whatever. For this iconic role, we nominate none other than Jack Black. No one else is crazy enough and perfect enough to be the Cannonman than Jack.
Luka, besides the fact that she’s a beautiful sage who looks no older than 18 (who is actually 200 years old) she guards the Mana Seed of Water and helps Randi on his adventure by introducing him to the elemental spirits. The beautiful blue haired maiden requires a beauty fit for the role, inside and out. Nominating Jessica Karen Szohr as our Luka, not because of her role in Gossip Girl, but because of her amazing personality and looks offset. You go girl!
Neko, the traveling feline merchant who is incredibly stingy and overpriced; reminds you of anyone? Maybe the Grinch? Therefore, we nominate Jim Carrey to play the role of Neko and to be honest why not? We haven’t seen enough of the old Jim!
Phanna, best friends with Purim, but Thanatos takes advantage of her jealousy towards Purim and Dyluck’s relationship and curses her. He uses her as a hostage against our heroes. Dakota Blue Richards who played Franky Fitzgerald beautifull in the British version of Skins would make a perfect Phanna. Both characters are mentally disturbed and are full of envy toward others’ fortune and Dakota has the talent to pull off these characters perfectly.
Watts, crafting and researching metals is his game, but this experienced Dwarf is the key to a pivotal plot in the story. He is known for wearing what looks to be like a bull’s skull which contradicts his peaceful and good-nature attitude. Nonetheless, we absolutely must have Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion Lannister in Games of Thrones. I can't say enough how much I love Dinklage as Lannister so why not Watts?
Grampa (Popoei’s Grandfather) as guardian of the Wind Palace, he is the only survivor of the massacre brought by Axebreak. Having lost his sight, he aids Randi’s team by passing along the powers of Slyphid. Although his role is minor, we believe Rance Howard would make a great Grampa because he is one already! Having roles in A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon you can’t go wrong with Rance.
King Amar III, as the King of Kakkara which has fallen under a spell of misfortune, the town that used to thrive on an oasis has dried up. Our hero’s must find a rare Sea Hare Tail to save the island. Most known for having a dancing animation in the game, who else best to play this loveable yet quirky King of the desert than Kal Penn? We would absoultely need to see Penn dance!
King Mammon Governing the Gold Isle, he harnessed the power of the Elemental Spirit of Light changing everything on the island into gold. As a result, the island sunk and the richest nation in the world was engulfed by the sea. I take one glance at this character and think Sean Connery. Some reason I feel Will Ferrell will be his jokester.
Emperor Vandole Leader of the Empire, he conspires to take over the world by releasing the power of the Mana Fortress with the help of sorcerer Thanatos. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say he doesn’t get his wish. Rex Linn from CSI: Miami, The Walking Dead, and Rush Hour is our choice for Emperor Vandole. His previous roles seem to almost prepare him for the role of Emperor taking over the world. Granted he hasn't had many bad guy roles, but there always a start!
Thanatos, the evil dark sorcerer living in sprite takes over mortal bodies. He serves the Emperor but later betrays him. He performs terrible magic in his spiritual form the Dark Lich and controls entire towns of people at whim. He is responsible for using the Mana Fortress to destroy the Mana Tree and setting the Mana Beast free. Whom did we consider the best actor for the most villainous role in this video game? None other than Hugh Laurie, who plays Dr House in House; Laurie would play the role so perfect we might actually want him to take over the world. Just don’t take any house calls.
Sheex, AKA Dark Stalker named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is known for his stealth and incursion as one of Emperor Vandole’s trusted lieutenants/bodyguards. With the ability to turn into Aegagropilon, a plant-like creature, it would be great to have him played as Arnold seeing as he is based off of him. I wouldn’t see why Arnold would pass up being an Aegagropilon. The creature is bad ass. Just can we make the creature a little more intimidating than a plant ball sack with legs?
Fanha, the only female bodyguard to the Emperor, she later betrays him for Thanatos’ rebellion. She turns into a multi-armed monster Hexas, Lamian Naga. Fanha was named Rambo based on the character portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in so many films. However, it would be quite ridiculous to have Stallone play a women or to make Fanha a male and leave the fact she’s the only female bodyguard to the Emperor. With that in mind, Michelle Rodriguez who had roles in Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T., and Resident Evil would be a perfect match for this role. Not to mention we think she is one fine bad ass lady.
Geshtar, the most dynamic henchmen of the Emperor’s bodyguards, he fights our heroes, holds Luka hostage, burns and attacks towns, all the while terrorizing as Mech Rider. This guy is hardcore and we need an actor who’s just as menacing as his name. We couldn’t go with anybody else but Chad Lindberg for this role. Having contributed to L.A.Noire and with roles in Sons of Anarchy and Criminal Minds you couldn’t pick a better menacing henchman!
Serin, once a guardian Mana Knight who protected the Mana Tree, he died in his battle against the Emperor Vandole near the village of Potos. He uses his last strength as a spirit to help Randi remove the Mana Sword from the stone and then fades without an explanation of his act. Without spoiling anything more, we absolutely must put David Wenham for this role. It’s begging for a fight scene where Rex and David duke it out!
Mana Tree is the embodiment of the Mana Goddess. Briefly appearing to Randi to inform him of who she is (not spoiling it), before fading away forever. There is no one more beautiful that makes a great fit for the story (if you know it) to be the Mana Goddess than Penelope Cruz. She’s just the great mixture of beauty, elegance, and grace. She isn’t called the “Spanish Enchantress” for nothing.
I will go now into the elemental spirits casting as they do speak and communicate with our heroes and other characters. Seeing as it’s more feasible to have CGI imaging for these characters based on actor’s facial features and borrowing their voices, we’ve taken that approach when casting the elemental spirits.
Udine, the elemental spirit of Water and Ice and close friend of Sage Luka, Undine lives in caves near the Water Palace and joins out heroes by lending her power to them. Now I know she's 8-bit, but Udine is the sexist out of the bunch of elementals so why not have a sexy female play her? Not only has she been blue before in Avatar, Zoe Saldana is a perfect fit for the part of Udine. As a professional dancer in ballet, Zoe could do some beautifully amazing water dancing attacks.
Gnome is the elemental spirit of Earth. Short and stumpy looking he inhabits the Underground Palace underneath Gaia's Navel. He joins our heroes after Fire Gigas attacks the palace. Taking some time to think this through, I can't think of any short and stumpy actor beside Danny Devito that could fit the part. Honestly, Danny might have too much fun with this role. I could see Danny bend earth and making some sly comment like "A block of Earth walks into a bar...."
Sylphid is the elemental spirit of Wind looking more like the genie from Aladdin than a wind spirit. He serves Popoie's grandfather, a resident of the Wind Palace of Upperland, until he is requested to aid our heroes. It might seem to cliché, but seeing as Robin Williams is into classic videos games so much so he named his daughter Zelda, he would be great for the part. His works in Ferngully, Happy Feet, and Robots just makes him even more perfect for it. We'll just go with him being a spirit and avoid telling him it's a genie.
Salamando is the elemental spirit of fire sounding more like G.I. Joe commando. He was trapped by the Scorpion Army and exploited as a furnace to a town in the Ice Country where tourist began to pour for the great weather. After being freed by our heroes, he joins them in their journey. It would be soo cliche to have Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, play as Salamando because Salamando seem more serious and self sustaining. Which is why I picked Channing Tatum, whom played First Sergant/Captain Duke Hauser in G.I. Joe the Movie and the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retalition. I can definitely see Tatum pulling some amazing fire stunts.
Shade is the elemental spirit of Darkness whom resides in the Palace of Darkness underneath Lofty Mountains. After requesting an audience and defeating his servants, he meets our heroes and aids them with their quest. The dark and loner type suits Daniel Henney perfectly as his previous role as Agent Zero was on the mark in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But, we can't say that the only reason why we picked him since we'd like to see him do more sci-fi movies.
Lumina, is the elemental spirit of Light imprisoned by King Mammon and forced to turn everything on Gold Island into… well, gold. After being freed, she joins our heroes. Not only did she use Lumos to brighten the way in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Emma Watson is a luminous talent. Beautiful, talented, and turning every movie into gold is what Emma does best.
Luna is the elemental spirit of the moon where she lives in the Moon Palace in the middle of the Sea of Wonders. Well guarded by illusions and darkness, getting to her via the Charon ship is the only way possible. Who better to play Luna than, Evanna Lynch, from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Granted she played Luna in the movie, but you can't help but realize both characters are so alike than we think. Evanna is new in the movie scene, but she sure is spectacular.
Dryad is the elemental spirit of Trees or Wood, guarding the Tree Palace on the Sunken Continent until the Mana Fortress arrives in which she gives up guarding and joins our heroes for the ultimate fight. Dryad looks as if she has this long and sexy hair that is just as luscious as Gabrielle Union. With roles in Bad Boys II and Flash Forward, I believe she's experienced for end of the world crisis. Bring it Union!
This list is solely comprised on my own opinions and appeal in casting. What are some games you'd like to see made into movies?