Starship Troopers star "can't wait to play" Helldivers 2, suggests a collab I'd kill to see: "Maybe we should do a crossover movie?!"

Starship Troopers
(Image credit: TriStar Pictures / Touchstone Pictures)

What you need to know

  • Helldivers 2 has shone a spotlight on the cult classic 1997 sci-fi film Starship Troopers, as it draws heavily from its satirical theming, its vibe, and its aesthetic.
  • Casper Van Dien, the actor who played the film's protagonist Johnny Rico, has said he "can't wait to play the game."
  • In an X (Twitter) exchange with Johan Pilestedt, CEO of Helldivers 2's developer Arrowhead Game Studios, Van Dien even suggested making "a crossover movie."
  • Pilestedt said that they should "start simple," and strongly hinted that Starship Troopers-inspired "Roughneck" skins may be coming to the game at some point.

Aside from the fact that it's a ton of fun and one of the best co-op shooters I've ever played, one of my favorite things about Helldivers 2 is that it's shone a spotlight on the cult classic 1997 science fiction film Starship Troopers. Though widely panned at release, the film would eventually go on to be remembered as one of the best satirical anti-fascist works in history — and with its hilarious over-the-top military propaganda and gameplay that pits you and your squad against hordes of giant alien bugs (or Terminator-style robots, if you're into that), it's clear that Helldivers 2 was heavily inspired by Paul Verhoeven's iconic motion picture.

The incredible success of Helldivers 2 has led to a dramatic rise in Starship Troopers viewership ever since it launched on February 8, and it's even caught the attention of Casper Van Dien, the actor who starred in the film as protagonist Johnny Rico. Recently, I came across a fun X (Twitter) exchange Van Dien had with Johan Pilestedt, the CEO of Helldivers 2 dev Arrowhead Game Studios, in which he reacted positively to Pilestedt's planned Helldivers tattoo, said he's eager to play the game, and even suggested a crossover.

"Welcome to the Roughnecks!", Van Dien wrote, to which Pilestedt responded: "Thank you, and thank you so much for one of the best movies of all time man ❤️ Had such a huge effect on my life!" Then, Van Dien with the eyebrow-raiser: "I can’t wait to play. Maybe we should do a crossover movie?!" 

Give it to me. Now.

The exchange between Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt and Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Pilestedt replied that they should "start simple" and strongly hinted that he wants to bring some Starship Troopers-inspired Roughneck skins to the game, so at the very least, we'll likely be getting those at some point. Still, I'd kill to see a cinematic "Starship Troopers x Helldivers" collab of some sort — maybe a short film or a funny trailer for the game with Van Dien in it.

The official Helldivers 2 account said he'd "make a great General Brasch," so perhaps he could play that character in a live-action production. Or maybe he could lend his voice to the game, and we can have the option of giving our Helldivers the battle cries of Johnny Rico himself. These are just a few ideas, but I'm sure Arrowhead is dreaming up plenty of others now that Van Dien has indicated his interest.

While we're at it, I'd also love to see a crossover between Helldivers 2 and Halo, as the former's space marines have quite a lot in common with the latter's Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs). Surprisingly, Pilestedt said the other day that he "unfortunately never played [Halo 3: ODST]," but I hope he does soon and realizes how great of a collab this could be. It would certainly make me feel better after hearing that tons of pitched ODST games never saw the light of day.

A Helldiver in Helldivers 2. This man is your friend. He fights for YOUR freedom! (Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

In other news, Helldivers 2 is gearing up for another crazy weekend, and Arrowhead has expanded its server capacity in an effort to try and make the wait times in its queue more bearable. For the last week or so, the game has been plagued with server capacity issues, as its player base has grown significantly faster and larger than the developers expected it to. At least AFK queue dodgers won't be a problem anymore.

Since its release earlier this month, Helldivers 2 has soared to an average of 200,000-300,000 concurrent players on Steam alone during workday afternoons, with that number regularly spiking up to 400,000-450,000 in the evenings and during the primetime weekend gaming hours. It's also been the #1 game on Steam's Top Sellers chart for several weeks, and with how fast it's been growing, it wouldn't surprise me if its concurrent player count on Steam jumped up to the 500,000-600,000 mark this weekend.

Helldivers 2 is available now for $39.99 on both PS5 and PC, and so far, it's one of the best PC games of the year. Notably, the game also supports cross-platform play between PS5 and PC.

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • fdruid
    A crossover? They're the same. And Helldivers is probably directly influenced by ST, if they're not fed by the same tropes.
    It's like making a crossover title between Tetris and Tetris Effect 🤷‍♂️