Lupin Productions, the company behind the Mercy-focused “Heroes Never Die” Overwatch short film, has its sights on the beautiful and deadly sniper Widowmaker for its next live-action film.
Co-founder of Lupin Productions Grayson Peters tells Inverse that Widowmaker was introduced as an adversary to Mercy in “Heroes Never Die” so that the film could have a “centralized villain” whom fans connected with. He adds, “Enough went into making her design authentic and realistic that exploring more of that character felt inevitable.”
Peters explains that they’re working on “the idea of an Alien-style combat movie filming Widowmaker like the xenomorph: The less you see, the more you experience.”
Peters describes the filming style as “almost like a third-person point of view” to “keep these heroes larger than life.” For Peters, to put her fully on display might make “just a purple girl with a sniper rifle” — the same one who’s fetishized by the fandom so much.
The blue-skinned sniper is one of the least-used but most-loved characters in all of Overwatch, and though playful and sexy emotes and costumes dull the severity of her largely hidden backstory, Peters wants the next film to remind Overwatch fans that Widowmaker is kind of an irredeemable monster.
Amélie Lacroix was a renowned French ballet dancer who married Gérard Lacroix, the Overwatch agent that was spearheading efforts against Talon. The terrorist organization eventually kidnapped and tortured Amélie, brainwashing her into a sleeper agent who killed Gérard in his sleep.
After returning to Talon, several more experiments enhanced her physiology and slowed her heart down to only a few beats per minute, which resulted in her skin turning a shade of bluish-purple and her being unable to feel any emotions. The hellish makeover turned her into a deadly, elegant assassin, who came to be known as Widowmaker.
Not only is she one of the bad guys, but she’s one of the worst.
“I like the idea that it’s a tragic story,” Peters said. “The video about Mercy is hopeful — how those events turned her into the hero we love. For Widowmaker, different events created this monster. It’s an intriguing idea to explore that she’s not redeemable.”
Peters understands what fans of Overwatch have known since the beginning: “With the game, you get these characters with a whole lot of personality but really not much story.”
Overwatch doesn’t offer any kind of story mode or campaign; it’s entirely multiplayer matchups with players battling in a team-based, first-person shooter experience. There’s a lot of variety and quirks among its 24 playable characters, and what little backstory there is gets revealed through random lines of dialogue in-game, along with comics and animated videos.
Building off of what little backstory game developer Blizzard provides allowed Lupin Productions to create a practical, realistic version of Widowmaker for live-action. “Talon did not brainwash her to turn her into a weapon to be sexy,” Peters said. “They turned her into a weapon to kill. We want to communicate that in a real-world setting.”
“Her visor doesn’t retract because she’s in an active war zone,” Peters explained, which isn’t the case in-game. “It’s feeding her tactical data. I like the idea that if you have something giving you information, you want that sucker down and running all the time … It also makes her look very scary.”
And with regards to the outfit, Lupin Productions moved away from Widowmaker’s standard purple attire in favor of something a little more practical: “We went all black with the outfit to make her more realistic, because if she’s a sniper, she’d want to blend in. And it’s a legitimate outfit from the game.”
“As far as her skin, she’s purple because her heartbeats have been slowed to a few beats a minute in the game, so that would make her look veiny and an unhealthy shade of purple.” Rather than a curvaceous, sexy sniper, her live-action counterpart looks almost gaunt and sickly, with thick veins on her neck and chest.
“We want to give the idea that this is a very scary person and a dangerous person to be around. We like the idea of the hair down, at least in the light. It gives her more of a wolfish appearance.”
“I love Widowmaker and the potential with that character,” Peters said. “I wanted to explore this area that’s not really explained.” The upcoming film will presumably grapple with a version of her backstory not unlike the assumed past of Mercy in “Heroes Never Die” — but this Widowmaker’s film will present something very different.
“In ‘Heroes Never Die,’ we want you to cry, but in the next, we want you to change your underwear.”
What can an Alien-inspired live-action Widowmaker film look like?
“We want that fear and ruthless destruction that’s also elegant. When she’s in full-on combat in a war zone, it’s almost like a ballerina dancing. She’s not a brawler. There are no wasted movements.”
Peters did offer up another tantalizing tease about future projects: “In the next short, just because it’s about Widowmaker, that doesn’t mean we can’t introduce another hero — or two.”
Watch this live-action version of Widowmaker right here in her debut as the villain in “Heroes Never Die,” and look for upcoming announcements from Lupin Productions.
No title or release date has been announced for Lupin Productions’ next film.