Ever since video games started to really blow up in the 80’s there have been attempts to capitalize on that popularity with movies. How successful has that been? Let’s just say a mediocre movie is historically the grand standard of video game films. Some of the worst movies ever made have been based off of games and that’s unfortunate, because there are plenty of video game stories that could be told or expanded upon on a movie screen.
One of the most infamously terrible movies is the Super Mario Bros. movie. The movie had very little to do with the game, not that there’s much of a story to tell in Mario, and was so bad that Nintendo altogether just kind of avoided it. The closest Nintendo has ever come to film since has been the Pokémon franchise, but those have always felt like their own thing outside of Nintendo. When someone thinks of Nintendo they’re more likely to think of Mario, Donkey Kong, or Link ahead of Pikachu and friends.
Could we see those three, or other Nintendo stars, on a film screen again some day? It sounds like that’s a possibility! Recently Nintendo brought on Despicable Me producer and CEO of the animation studio Illumination, Chris Meledandri, to their board of directors so he can assist in what sounds a lot like movie production. Via IGN.
“The processes of making visual content and developing games share some of the same ways of thinking, but there are also differences. The movie business, including distribution, is in a period of transformation,” he explained. “We think that asking for Chris’ input, as an expert with many years of experience in Hollywood, will be of great help to us in the future.”
Considering Meledandri’s background, and a previous report from IGN that Nintendo is looking into making animated features that aren’t just Mario, we could have a Nintendo Cinematic Universe on our hands here. Of the money video game companies out there, few publishers have a library of IPs as expansive as Nintendo’s. The directions that they could take this are pretty vast, so it will be exciting to see how deep into their history Nintendo chooses to go on this.