Media Essays: Does Sly Cooper Have A Chance In Cinemas?
Written by The Wandering Fox
I’m here a lot aren’t I? Greetings everyone, it’s me, the Wandering Fox, with a different entry. As we’ve seen recently with the Sonic and Mario movies, it would seem the video game movie curse has been lifted, the Sonic movies being fun and story gripping with a nice combo of live action and animation, the Mario movie a lot of fun with its animation. Because of it, you know other companies will be wanting to make video game movies as well. Yet as we know, video game movies in the past, with the exception of Detective Pikachu, haven’t done well in terms of reception. Ratchet and Clank failed to make a profit with their movie. Prince of Persia didn’t feel like the Sands of Time game. The Lara Croft movies were decent. Video game movies of the past didn’t do well. But if there’s a character who could’ve got a movie but didn’t, it was Sly Cooper.
The Raccoon has been absent from game consoles for a decade now since he last appeared in Thieves in Time, trapped in Ancient Egypt. He wouldn’t be stuck there if Sanzaru had made the DLC of the Egypt level and he could get back home. Yes, he cameoed in Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart but I don’t count it as it’s not his game. But I digress. A trailer for Sly Cooper in a movie was released in 2016.
SLY COOPER Movie Trailer (2016) - YouTube
Given this was made by the same guys who made the Ratchet and Clank movie, it didn’t get released given how bad they did with that movie, thus Sly never got a chance to be on the screen. He would’ve gotten a animated series in 2019 but it wasn’t made. Though because of the success of Sonic and Mario at the movies, would Sony try again? Does Sly Cooper actually have a chance in cinemas? I say they would, but not for a few years, they’ll likely wait to see if the trend of success continues for Sonic and Mario, then once Capcom enters with Mega Man, Ace Attorney, they’re gonna wanna throw their hat in the ring.
If it was to be made, how would I make it? Then you best sit back.
The movie’s story is easy and simple, adapt Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. The first game in the series, has the origins of Sly there, begin the movie based on the first game. The first game is about Sly recovering the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus, stolen from him after the Fiendish Five murdered his mum and dad, fighting each member of the Fiendish Five to bring them to justice, get the pages back and learn some new moves from his ancestors. However, I won’t adapt the game bit by bit for this being a movie you have to condense it down to either a hour and a half, or two hours. So, what am I to cut out and alter?
I’d cut out the opening level of Sly breaking into Interpol, you can have Carmelita mention it in her first appearance in the movie. Cut out a lot of the missions or condense some down. Cut Mugshot down to have him be fought with the Panda King, explanation being Mugshot could want to trade with the Panda King, and fighting a couple of tougher foes will give Murray the chance to go in and help Sly. This gives us a chance to build the characters more with Sly’s relationship with Bentley and Murray, Carmelita being a investigator, Bentley and Murray overcoming their fear, and give a bit more to the Fiendish Five members.
Given I said it, here’s how I’d start the movie.
The Cooper Van arrives on the coast of Wales, a strange weather phenomenon is occurring, we see Bentley and Murray in the van, Murray chaining the fan to a rock to make sure it doesn’t get blown away by the storm, Bentley is making some tech for Sly, who’s in the shadows, being laid back and snarky of it all. Bentley has built a special mask for Sly so he can see through his lenses. Giving it to him, Bentley watches Sly go and he and Murray can only watch as Sly goes in to Raleigh’s fortress, distracting a guard with Bentley’s alarm clock, giving him the chance to pickpocket his key to sneak onto the ship Raleigh is on. Sly throughout this is mostly cool and laid back, yet once he confronts Raleigh, his behaviour switches, he becomes more colder once he confronts Raleigh, telling him “With all you did to me, Raleigh, you should be expecting company”. Raleigh fights Sly but is easily defeated, though Raleigh instead turns his weather weapon towards the nearby village to kill everyone, thinking Sly will let them die, just to show he’s like him. Yet Sly turns off the weapon and tells Raleigh he should’ve thought twice. Carmelita appears at the end and tells Sly she will arrest him and Raleigh, for he broke into her Interpol building to steal the files on the Five, though Sly says it’d be boring for her if she were to arrest him as she won’t catch the others. Sly then escapes, Raleigh’s pages of the Thievius Raccoonus all collected by him.
The Cooper Gang retreat to a hideout they have and Sly tells Bentley and Murray they should go back to Paris as it’s only going to get dangerous from here. Bentley, who had become concerned for Sly once he started behaving coldly towards Raleigh, points out Sly doesn’t know how to forge a passport, doesn’t have enough money for plane tickets, food or the gear to get inside his enemy’s hideouts, and he and Murray tell Sly he had their backs in the orphanage, they have his back now. Sly realises he can’t say no, so they go to Mz Ruby, who Raleigh has directed Sly to.
In her custody, Raleigh doesn’t tell Carmelita why Sly is after him and the Fiendish Five, though he says Sly won’t get far given Mz Ruby will kill him. Carmelita decides to follow Sly and try to arrest him before he can get killed, she at first believes the Fiendish Five backstabbed him and he’s robbing them out of revenge. We get a moment with Sly as he, Bentley and Murray have some fun learning Riochi’s ninja spire jump though Sly does become a bit sad as he wonders if things would’ve been different. Going to South America, Sly goes into the jungle and Bentley guides him around, both finding evidence Mz Ruby has kidnapped a lot of people to torment them. Sly then hears someone muffling, he finds it’s Carmelita, who he helps free, but it’s then Sly’s hit with some gas that has a lot of zombies looking like raccoons trying to drag him under, telling Sly to give up. Carmelita saves him and after he takes a few deep breaths, Sly tells Carmelita to rescue the hostages, he will get Mz Ruby, though the gas has had another affect on Sly, slowing him down. Bentley begins making a antidote to help Sly, who confronts Mz Ruby, who tries to cast a few hexes on him, but he dodges these and defeats her. Carmelita watches as Sly almost loses his temper with her but he refrains from killing her for she had a difficult childhood and she still has a chance to turn her life around, he won’t forgive her but she can be better. Carmelita arrests Mz Ruby while Sly escapes, Bentley giving him the antidote. Sly thanks Bentley, who tells Murray he doesn’t want Sly going out alone anymore and says Murray should go and keep him company on their next mission.
Arrested, Mz Ruby tells Carmelita to research on Sly if she’s so interested. Carmelita investigates, finding the file about the death of Conner and his wife, Sly orphaned as a kid, with her realising Sly isn’t after them or rob them for a backstab, this is personal. Concerned about the boss of the Five being too much for Sly, Carmelita decides to get intel on him to give Sly a hand.
The Cooper Gang go and face Panda King and Mugshot, the latter of who is meeting with him to discuss trading. Murray goes with Sly, who’s a tiny bit annoyed until Murray helps fight a few of the guards and realises Murray isn’t as scared as he thought. Bentley reveals he’s in touch with someone inside the Panda King’s palace who will help get them in. The Panda King’s daughter, Jing, is the inside source, helping Sly and Murray fight Mugshot and Panda King. Told by Panda King to kill him, Sly isn’t going to, as he’s not going to take him from his daughter. This leaves Panda King and Mugshot to be arrested, with Sly impressed by Murray’s bravery.
The final fight goes mostly the same but there’s no lava slugs but robot owls they end up fighting. Carmelita is captured and Sly tries rescuing her but is almost gassed. Bentley gets out if the van and shuts it down. Sly confronts Clockwerk, who reveals he was the one who killed Conner and his wife. Sly brutally kills him, his head falling in the lava. Sly is grateful to his friends and Carmelita, who lets Sly go for this was personal, but Sly kisses her cheek before leaving. The movie ends with Sly visiting his mum and dad’s graves, ready to move in with his life. Though Clockwerk is hinted to still be alive.
I’d have the movie be set in 2002 to fit the game’s timeline as Sly was born in 1984. The powers Sly learns in this movie is the Ninja Spire Jump, the Invisibility, the Rail Slides. He gets these abilities by reading the Thievius Raccoonus, the words magical, causing Sly’s body to gain these powers, but he still has to master them. He is skilled at pickpocketing, sneaking and at fighting. The mask he wears is a bit more technical thanks to Bentley, who can see what he’s doing. the other abilities he has like the trick hat or stun cane is because of Bentley.
The clue bottles are instead all in the main rooms where the bosses are. Though Mugshot brought his along because he wanted Panda King’s help to translate them. This gives Sly the chance to bag them all and go, restoring the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus. Sly doesn’t kiss Carmelita to handcuff her because that was a bit iffy. Bentley and Murray overcome their fears for Sly’s safety once he starts to face a struggle in Mz Ruby and the gas chamber, with Bentley going out to get the antidote and Murray fighting Mugshot to help Sly.
With this done, let’s look at the characters.
I think the characters are the same as they were but with some depth added, Sly clearly missing his mum and dad and wondering if things would be different if they lived, his trauma at their deaths coming up once he confronts a few of the Five, Mz Ruby using zombie animated corpses resembling his mum, dad and ancestors serving as a trauma moment for him, Raleigh being the first of the five he meets has him get cold enough to consider killing him, but seeing how Panda King has a daughter, Sly won’t give Panda King his desire to die. It’s Clockwerk he loses his temper with for stalking his family for centuries and him being the one who’s claws landed the killing blow on his mum and dad was enough to have Sly lose his temper.
Bentley and Murray have more here with Bentley scared of Sly’s safety and his mental health, Murray is still comical but he has some heart-warming moments in how he tells Sly how he was there for him in the orphanage, he’s there for him now.
Carmelita being a inspector, id have her do some detective work, it’s through her we learn more of Sly and with her learning his backstory, she grows to care for him a lot more. Because he saved her a bit as well, her feelings for him start.
The villains are the same but they have more to them. Raleigh I imagine being a bit like Jack Horner, doesn’t give a crap about the social standards he was born with, a childish man who likes to be greedy. Clockwerk I’d give more to his creepiness.
For voices, down to me, it’s Sly, Bentley, Murray and Carmelita who have their video game voices return, Kevin Miller, Matt Olsen, Chris Murphy and Grey DeLisle. The Fiendish Five I imagine are voiced by celebrities, David Tennant, Rosario Dawson, Jason Momoa, Donnie Yen, and Wagner Moura respectively voicing Raleigh, Mz Ruby, Mugshot, Panda King and Clockwerk.
In their designs, I'd have Sly wear a mix of his game and scrapped movie design, he keeps the jacket, but still wears a neck scarf, he has the shorts he was gonna wear in the scrapped movie, his mask is a bit more technical, has his red backpack and a side satchel.
Bentley wears his outfit from the first game with it being a bow tie and some glasses. Murray wears pants. Carmelita doesn’t expose her stomach because she’s a inspector, going out and risking her life she wears a black bulletproof vest.
Unlike the movie we almost got, I’d rather we have a animation close to Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, they can at least bring the Sly Cooper characters to life better than making them completely CGI, stay true to their cartoon like figures but giving them that extra detail to them. The animation also will help adapting the comic book visuals the cutscenes the game had.
It’s all I have. It’s what I’d do if I was given the chance to make a Sly Cooper movie, but what do you guys think? Is this raccoon fit for the movies or is he better suited for a TV adaptation?
Thanks, Media Man.
Media Man: Anytime buddy. Always a pleasure to have you around here. ^^
Hope you all enjoyed this post and feel free to share your thoughts down below. Remember to come back tomorrow for the Career of Razer. Till next time media fans!