In discussions about video game to film adaptations, it’s inevitable that Super Mario Bros.‘ name pops up at some point. The 1993 film’s commonly held up as a video game movie done particularly badly, with weirdly dark and sinister production design which felt a world apart from the game on which it was based. It even had a scene where Yoshi got stabbed, for heaven’s sake.
Two decades later, and it sounds as though Nintendo’s started thinking about making another foray into the film business. Speaking to posh business outlet Fortune, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s been talking about the possiblity of the Japanese video game giant branching out into movie business.
“As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo’s role as an entertainment company,” Miyamoto said, “we’re starting to think more and more about how movies fit in with that – and we’ll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future.”
It could be argued that Nintendo’s started laying the foundations for this already. Last year, the firm created a trio of short animated films based on Pikmin, its strategy series featuring tiny sentient vegetables. Produced by Miyamoto himself, they made their debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Could they have been Nintendo’s way of testing the water for a feature film?
If so, Nintendo has a potential partner when it comes to distribution. In May, it was announced that Nintendo had signed a deal with Universal, which will ultimately see Nintendo-themed rides appear at the movie company’s chain of theme parks. A further deal between the two, this time for a string of movies based on characters like Mario and Link from The Legend of Zelda doesn’t sound too far fetched to us.
Nintendo is now in the toy business with its line of amiibo figures, mobile games are on the horizon, and even theme park rides are planned. It’s clear the company’s looking to move into areas other than making video games for its own consoles and handhelds. If Miyamoto’s right, then movies might not be too far behind.