As a video game company, Nintendo is going through a less than stellar period right now, financially speaking. However, regardless of what the company’s console sales look like, one thing that will always keep Nintendo as a potential power player is their stable of games and characters that they have created. Now, a report has come out that Nintendo may look to those classic franchises to bring in some money in a new area, the movies.
In an interview with Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said that the company is currently in negotiations with a number of studios in order to find a partner to go into full production on a series of films showcasing their popular characters. While Nintendo has licensed their characters out for films before, with fairly disastrous results, the plan this time around is for Nintendo to retain creative control and to actively be involved in the production. We think this is a fantastic idea, and we know exactly what films they should start with.
The Legend of Zelda
Let’s start with the most obvious one. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s top franchises, and with the exception of a comically bad animated series from the '90s, it’s never seen a proper adaptation. When rumors of a Zelda series coming to Netflix started last year, fans went nuts. People want this. The Legend of Zelda has everything that your standard fantasy epic needs, and audiences have shown that they will pay money to see a good one. Nintendo should not delay a second on making this one happen.
Once you’ve made your fantasy epic, it’s time to get to work on your science fiction blockbuster. Metroid was, itself, heavily influenced by the Alien film franchise, which means it’s already ripe for a film adaptation. The wide variety of creatures, and action focused gameplay, will translate without much difficulty into a sci-fi action movie. What’s more, nobody is allowed to complain that the movie has a female protagonist, because it always has. Just as long as they don’t base the film on Metroid: Other M, everything should be fine.
Super Mario Bros.
Since Super Mario Bros. has already seen one film adaptation, making another seems to be incredibly obvious, yet it might also prove the most difficult. Mario is the single most popular video game character in the world. Nintendo has to make this movie, if only to try and wash the taste of the Bob Hoskins/John Leguizamo version out of fan’s mouths. At the same time, because that version exists, it will be tough for moviegoers to give the character another chance. One way or another, it needs to happen. If it's good, fans will embrace it.
Movie fans like an inspirational sports movie. Sports video games are also a popular genre for players. However, how do you adapt a sports video game into a movie, and still make it something based on a video game? The answer is to take one of the more creative examples. With its cast of unique characters, you can create a boxing movie that’s a bit more fantastic than anything the Rocky series ever gave us. Imagine seeing a cast of wildly unique, and maybe slightly less stereotypical, opponents lining up to take on Little Mac. Maybe we can even sign on Mike Tyson to play himself at the end.
While the Kid Icarus franchise has only seen three games since its debut in 1986, it has still remained incredibly popular among fans. Based on greek mythology, a genre we haven’t really seen at the movies since the ill-fated Clash of the Titans remakes, this movie would give us an opportunity to play with a genre that we don’t see much, while still adding in a healthy dose of Nintendo originality. Would seeing the Eggplant Wizard on screen be utterly bizarre? Sure it would, and that’s why it would be awesome.
While it’s not specifically stated that Nintendo is looking to turn these franchises into some sort of cinematic universe, the fact is it’s 2016, and that’s just how movies are made. So, assuming that we will be building toward some sort of major crossover event, there’s no problem, because Nintendo has a couple of those already put together within the games. The Super Smash Bros movie would be the most obvious contender here, as we would, of course, love to see all these characters fight in giant action set pieces. However, we’re leaning more toward a big MarioKart movie, just because it would be significantly different than all the other movies out there. Mario meets Cannonball Run. With flying turtle shells and other weaponry, a MarioKart movie would not lack for action. Make it happen.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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