With our MCUs and DCEUs and Sony & Fox’s hilarious failures to even keep up with DC we live in a world saturated with Superhero media which got me thinking: How would an American movie adaptation of Kamen Rider work? Or would it even at all?
The short answer is yes it could, but they’d have to be very careful about how they pull it off. It would probably adapt the original series since that’s the most recognisable Kamen Rider which gives them a pretty broad canvas to work with since the original series wasn’t really that complex.
The basic premise of the show would translate fairly well to a movie. Man gets kidnapped by shady guys, shady guys make him a cyborg but he’s rescued before he’s brainwashed, rescuer is killed but Kamen Rider remains free and swears to take down the shady guys who did this. It’d be really hard to get that wrong.
As for characters You really only need Takeshi Hongo, Tobei Tachibana, Ruriko Midorikawa, Professor Midorikawa and a few shocker personnel to make this work, Hayato Ichimoni and Kazuya Taki would be introduced in a sequel if one was made along with Dr Shinigami and or Ambassador hell.
Of course since this is a hypothetical American movie all of these characters would be renamed and recast with a western audience in mind meaning that few or none of them would be portrayed as Japanese. No doubt this would spark some controversy in the west in much the same way Ghost in the Shell did. However assuming they cast talented actors they should be able to weather that controversy with relative ease.
The most effective way of adapting Kamen Rider’s story like this would be through a trilogy, The first telling the story of how Kamen Rider #1 is born and takes up his crusade, the second introducing Kamen Rider #2 and Taki taking up that crusade while #1 battles elsewhere and the third showing us the two riders and their allies working to finally take shocker down once and for all.
Now of course this is just me speculating on what could be and what I’d want to happen, naturally if it really did happen it’d probably be awful and underfunded since no studio would have confidence in it, plus it’d be plagued by the curse that follows most american adaptations of Japanese media. I’m not sure anyone wants to see Kamen Rider get the DragonBall Evolution treatment.