Nintendo movies we want to see
After Super Mario Bros: The Movie flopped in gloriously embarrassing fashion 22 years ago, it pretty much killed any chance of Nintendo further pursuing the film world. But in a surprising turn of events, earlier this week Nintendo's representative directors Shigeru Miyamoto noted in a Fortune Magazine interview that the Japanese games company will once more look into the potential of films in the future.
Finally, there's hope Nintendo could take to the silver screen once again, and characters like Mario and Donkey Kong already have even popped up in Adam Sandler's Pixels … OK – bad example. But in all seriousness, videogame movies, like Silent Hill and Wreck-It Ralph, have come a long way from the genre's disastrous first takes in the '80s and through the '90s.
With that in mind, here are the Nintendo properties that ought to get screen time in a theater near you. We've even started the pitch work for Shiggy and crew – you're welcome.
In case you didn't know, there was actually once a live-action film adaptation of Metroid in the works. Naturally, it would have featured protagonist Samus Aran in her early battles against the Metroids and Mother Brain. Zide/Perry Entertainment optioned the film rights back in 2003 before the right expired and fell into John Woo's hands. The production was expected to release some time in 2006. Ultimately, the project was cancelled in 2007 over creative disagreements.
Despite this failed attempt to make a Metroid movie, Nintendo shouldn't give up. It's fair to say Metroid was heavily inspired by 1979's Alien in the first place, what with the badass female protagonist – plus the distinctly alien dragon named after Alien director Ridley Scott. The elements of isolation and fear of the unknown in Alien could easily translate back to a feature film that depicts the life of Samus Aran.
I can already envision the first scene: Samus hides out under some ruins, watching Ridley maul one of the scientists she was to rescue from what she thought was an otherwise empty, derelict research facility. .
2. The Legend of Zelda
While Nintendo has denied working on a Legend of Zelda live-action series with Netflix, the series is still high on our list of Nintendo games we want to see in the movies.
In some ways, The Hobbit has shown how a children's book can be turned into a serious epic. In the same way, the Zelda movie – based around a children's game – could focus on the battle between good and evil with future of Hyrule at stake. Everyone likes a classic adventure tale where the good guy comes out on top of.
A Pikmin movie seems about the most likely production that might come from Nintendo, thanks to a recent string of short films produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. While there are only three of these shorts available to the public, Miyamoto revealed he has completed 20 to 30 clips. Put all together, Nintendo might be already sitting on enough material to produce a full-length movie – if not a mini-series.
Speculation aside, from the three short clips it's clear Miyamoto has a defined idea of the world. It would be light-hearted and playful, reflecting the nature of the Pikmin characters. The characters and their interaction with Captain Olimar makes them strangely reminiscent of the Aliens from Toy Story and the Minions, down to the way they communicate in hums and squeaks.
Seeing how the Minions stole the show in both the Despicable Me movies – so much so that they now have a movie of their own – Pikmin could be Nintendo's first runaway box office hit.
Maybe I've watched the Creed trailer too many times, but movie studios could easily adapt Punch-Out to the silver screen. The classic fighting game has all the elements for a rise to stardom movie, with Little Mac standing in as the requisite underdog who goes from lightweight scrapper to world boxing champion.
Throw in a motley crew of supporting characters, have Mike Tyson star as Mac's final opponent, give Mac a love interest, and this flick practically writes itself.
5. Fire Emblem
If there's anything Game of Thrones has proved, it's that audiences love political intrigue (and high mortality rates for their favorite characters). It just so happens that Fire Emblem, a medieval tactical war game-meets-traditional role-playing game series, also has these two elements down to a "T".
Of course, this Nintendo franchise could introduce a few of its own hooks to avoid ripping George R.R. Martin's work completely. Time travel, for instance, was introduced in Fire Emblem: Awakening, the most recent entry in the series released on the 3DS.
Terminator meets A Song of Ice and Fire, anyone?
6. Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. might have dashed Nintendo's chances at box office billions in the first place, but that's all the more reason to come out with an amazing production that blows away expectations. And it just so happens a BuzzFeed report from December 2014 that reveals Sony and Nintendo were beginning to negotiations to produce an animated Mario Bros. movie.
After the horrendous first go, Nintendo will at least have a good idea of what to avoid, including (but not limited to) a dystopian Mushroom Kingdom, Koopas posing as humans, rocket boots, Goombas out of your nightmares, Big Bertha – the list goes on.
Now, where the movie could improve on is building a lush and whimsical land as the Mushroom Kingdom is meant to be. Luckily, it's easier to do that today than it was in 1993 with animation and CGI, as we've seen with other fun productions, like the LEGO Movie and Wreck-It Ralph.
Now, if there's one property Nintendo should capitalize on in the movie world, it's Poke – wait a minute. There have already been 18 Pokemon movies!? Maybe this is where Nintendo needs to slow down so it can focus on other projects. Just saying.
- TechRadar's Movie Week is our celebration of the art of cinema, and the technology that makes it all possible.