With the torch of Nintendo’s leadership passed from the late Satoru Iwata to Tatsumi Kimishiwa, it was announced that the company would be expanding into worlds beyond console gaming. Aside from the obvious mobile platform, it was suggested that its beloved characters and franchises could appear on the silver screen and in various physical merchandise. The possibility of Nintendo movies is edging closer to becoming reality, as Nintendo has now entered talks with various movie studios regarding not only licensing its characters but involving themselves in the actual filmmaking process.
Nintendo has not yet decided which franchises will be made into films, or what the plot of said features would be. President Kimishima has remarked on the failure of the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie and suggested that future endeavors would be animated. In other words, don’t hold your breath for a British-accented Legend of Zelda flick. A spokesperson for Nintendo, Makoto Wakae, has also stated that, in addition to possible movies, these animated releases could come in the form of streamed content. As far as animated series go, Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong have all had their time in the spotlight. I’m sure everyone remembers hearing mama Luigi, Excuuuuuuse me, princess, and banana slamma.
It’s a shame the Mario Bros. movie was so unpopular because so many Nintendo IPs would look great in live action. I won’t dip into the science of why game-based movies don’t seem to hold up to the source material, but with access to good actors, a decent budget, and the courage to take a certain amount of creative liberty, franchises like Zelda and Metroid have the opportunity to wow gamers and moviegoers alike. Of course, the possibility of failure exists, but let’s face it: no precious gems or delightful innovations were ever made by playing it safe.