In 1993, John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins donned the caps and suspenders of Luigi and Mario and proceeded to plunge all the goodwill from the Super Mario Bros. gaming franchise in two hours. Thing is, that movie also saw Dennis Hopper in all his Blue Velvet insanity, only with prosthetic horns and a love for a different kind of princess. He and his shrunken-headed minions managed to create something iconically awful, and while that’s an enjoyable reality for stoners who have embraced the film in the decades since its release, it’s not such a great legacy for the company responsible for producing the film’s source material. So, it seems that that company — Nintendo — wants a do-over, and it’s being very, very careful about it.
Tech site Ars Technica points out that Nintendo’s President, Tatsumi Kimishima, spoke with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun about steps the company was taking in order to begin production on a new film, hoping to begin production on a new Mario movie within the next few years. This report was elucidated on by another member of the Nintendo team in The Wall Street Journal. In this report, Nintendo made sure to specify that the company was attempting to maintain financial and creative control over the picture, probably to stop whatever drug-fueled chain of events occurred in 1993.
Chances are, Nintendo is motivated to pursue a film franchise for several reasons. First, their console sales have been consistently disappointing, and are flagging due to Sony and Microsoft’s constant technological innovation. Second, Marvel’s film universe has probably served as a positive example for creators who can potentially copy the comic book industry’s world-building trend — think of it, a whole series of Mario/Nintendo universe films! Third, the generally positive attitude toward video games as art, as well as video game film adaptations, has created a much more welcoming atmosphere for video game movies in 2016 than back in 1983. Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft, and Ratchet and Clank are three high-profile video game adaptations that are landing (or already have) in theaters this year.