If you don’t know the name Avi Arad, I’m sure then that you know the name Spider-Man. Well, Arad is the man that’s been producer of every live-action Spider-Man movie made from the good to excellent films by Sam Raimi through to the subpar Spider-Man 3 and on through the flaccid one-two punch of The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2. So let’s split hairs and say that Arad’s batting average at franchise management is .500, and then ask this question: Is Avi Arad the kind of man you want involved in making a new Super Mario Bros. movie? If you answered no, then good news, it seems that Arad has convinced the fine folks at Nintendo into letting him have the movie rights to the game.
This latest leak from the Sony hacking debacle comes courtesy of BuzzFeed, an e-mail exchange between Arad and some high-ups at Sony Pictures signalling Arad’s acquisition of the rights to Mario, and Sony’s enthusiasm about the idea of exploiting the character and his world(s) for animated features.
“I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic],” Arad wrote to Amy Pascal, the head of on October 23,2014.
The e-mail, with the subject line “Mario” included two pictures: one of Arad with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and the second of Arad with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. “Happy ceo, lets get together, it’s the mother load. [sic]” added Arad.
Pascal then forwarded Arad’s e-mail to Tom Rothman, the head of TriStar Pictures, one of two studio banners under Sony, adding “Avi closed Mario brothers. Animated.” That e-mail was passed on to Sony Pictures Animation president of production Michelle Raimo Kouyate on October 24, and he sent Arad a thank you basket of Super Mario merchandise. “Thank you Avi Let’s build a Mario empire! I can think of 3-4 movies right out of the gate on this. So huge!” she wrote back to Arad.
Since this was barely a month ago, the ink isn’t even dry on any sort of deal signed by Arad and Nintendo. Buzzfeed asked Arad for comment, and the producer said via e-mail that the deal was not yet closed and these talks amongst Sony execs were “just the beginning.”
Infamously, the last time that Super Mario Bros. the game series tried to become Super Mario Bros. the movie it was 1993’s Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton live-action film version starring the late Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and the late Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. In case you’ve forgotten, it was a tremendous failure. Not that one should judge a movie on box office alone, but it didn’t even make back half its budget in ticket sales. Long story short, no one’s looking for a live-action remake, but an animated film? There’s been some success in that regard on TV.
As for Arad, he enjoyed some success when he was the man behind Marvel‘s production company, but he left at the same time Marvel Studios was taking off as it’s own entertainment entity following the release of Iron Man. In that time, he seems to have been preoccupied with holding on to the Spider-Man rights out of a pure sense of spite to Marvel and Disney, and, as a result, has cranked out not just one, but two misfires starring arguably the most popular superhero in comics. That’s not to say he’ll completely screw up Super Mario, but it is concerning to hear execs talk about “3-4 movies” when they don’t even have the rights yet.
Anyway Bastards, what do you think of an animated Super Mario Bros. movie coming down the pipe. Get it? Never mind. Sound off below.
Source: Comic Book.com