Since the U.S. debut of the NES in 1985, Nintendo has partnered with Hollywood on exactly one live-action film: the infamously terrible Super Mario Bros. movie starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper back in 1993.
Understandably, Nintendo has been pretty gun shy about making another bad video game movie in the twenty two years since their last big screen experience. But things may be changing at Nintendo, and the company made the announcement itself deep within Nintendo’s earnings statement for June: “For Nintendo IP, a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising.”
Gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto will reportedly oversee any potential Nintendo-related films through his Software Planning & Development Division. While speaking to Fortune, Miyamoto added that “As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo’s role as an entertainment company, we’re starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that — and we’ll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future.”
Miyamoto also explained why he previously avoided a direct connection with the Hollywood machine.
“We’ve had, over the years, a number of people who have come to us and said ‘Why don’t we make a movie together — or we make a movie and you make a game and we’ll release them at the same time?’,” noted Miyamoto. “Because games and movies seem like similar mediums, people’s natural expectation is we want to take our games and turn them into movies… I’ve always felt video games, being an interactive medium, and movies, being a passive medium, mean the two are quite different.”
If Nintendo is truly serious about jumping back into movies, then it has a huge library of untapped IP ready to go. The Legend of Zelda was rumored to be heading to Netflix as an original series earlier this year. But Zelda could easily be an epic series of fantasy movies. Metroid is another natural choice for a film. And who knows? Perhaps even Pokémon will get the live-action treatment.
Nintendo fans. which gaming franchises do you want to see as a movie? Smash all challengers and share your opinions below!