The one and only time Nintendo endeavored to make a movie out of one of its popular video-game properties, the result — 1993’s disastrous, live-action Super Mario Bros. movie — was an epic failure that soured the company’s relationship with Hollywood from that point forward. However, the iconic game company might be changing its tune, according to a recent interview with the head of the Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis & Development division.
The comments on Nintendo’s big-screen future were made during a recent earnings report to investors, with Nintendo’s creative mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto suggesting that the company is “potentially” considering future projects in the movie world.
“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?'” said Miyamoto (as reported by Fortune). “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.”
“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,” he continued. “And we’ll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future.”
Updated on 5-16-2016 by Gabe Gurwin: It appears that Nintendo is now using much more concrete language regarding its plans for motion pictures. According to a new interview with CEO Tatsumi Kimishima, the company is planning to have films ready within the next five years. The projects will likely be animated so as to not have a repeat of the Super Mario Bros. fiasco.
In recent years, Nintendo had seemed to soften its stance on its properties appearing in big-screen projects. Recurring Super Mario Bros. villain Bowser appeared in Disney’s Oscar-nominated 2012 animated feature Wreck-It Ralph (pictured above), and the barrel-tossing franchise headliner Donkey Kong (as well as several other Nintendo characters) had a featured role in this summer’s underwhelming live-action feature Pixels (which, fortunately, doesn’t seem to have soured Nintendo all over again).
Rumors have also suggested that a Legend of Zelda series could be in the works at Netflix, but Nintendo has denied this report.
There’s currently no official word on which characters, if any, could be making the leap from console to screen, or when any such projects might begin development.