Non-profit film studio Rainfall has released a gorgeous 11-ish minute Metroid short that shows off Samus Aran as an intrepid space explorer investigating an ancient Chozo artifact.
Directed by Sam Balcomb — the man behind IGN’s 2008 Legend of Zelda April fools prank, and a 2013 short film about Wonder Woman — the short film, called Metroid: The Sky Falls, is an epic ten minute journey much in the style of Alien, with a little suit-fueled Iron Man-esque action thrown in for good measure.
“Instead of using a modern approach, a style was developed more in tune with the themes that inspired the first Metroid game in 1986: isolation, exploration, and the wonders of deep space,” reads the YouTube description for the short.
Samus Aran was played by Nerdist host Jessica Chobot in the short, and the motion capture work for the film was done by Halo 5 star America Young.
The Metroid franchise is famed for being one of the earliest video games to feature a strong female protagonist, in Samus, who is a bounty hunter that protects the universe from space pirates. The 11 Metroid games that have been released by Nintento are among the developer’s most valuable assets.
The new short film is almost certainly unlicensed and isn’t entirely big-budget blockbuster quality, but it’s very professionally made. With great space CGI and more than passable motion-capture work, it suspends disbelief with the best of them, bringing audiences into the unexplored depths of space with well-executed ease.
For now, 11 minutes of film time will have to be enough for fans of the franchise, because as far as a licensed big-screen adaptation goes, there will likely never be one; executives at Nintendo have been reticent to send any project to the silver screen ever since the massive early-90s flop that was Super Mario Bros.