Despite a lengthy history of epic failures, Hollywood is hoping to resurrect the concept of movies based on video games. In the past, projects like these have been cursed with insufficient budgets, studio meddling and inexperienced filmmakers that don’t understand how to translate one popular art form to another. Even recent videogame-related projects like Hitman: Agent 47, Pixels and Ratchet and Clank have failed to resonate with critics or the general public, and all faced dismal runs at the box office. However, with anticipated projects like The Angry Birds Movie, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed hitting theaters this year, gamers may finally get a chance to see watchable movies based on their favorite franchises. What’s even more exciting is that one of the biggest video game companies of all time may be getting in on Hollywood’s latest ambition.
In an interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said that the company is closer than ever to bringing their biggest franchises to the big screen. He was asked several questions about what kind of movies the company wants to make, and gave some good insight into what we can expect.
(Note: quotes from Mr. Kimishima come from a NeoGAF user’s translation)
Kimishima started off by saying that instead of simply liscencing its characters, the company planned to get fully involved in the filmmaking process. He said:
We aren’t looking to make money simply by directly licensing our characters, but we must invest heavily in new areas such as film production going forward. When we’ve finalized that sale, we’d like to use part of the proceeds in these areas.
Whether or not the awful reception of Pixels turned them off of licensing their characters is still unknown.
When asked if they would invest in live-action films, Kimishima said:
We’ve already tried that, so perhaps not this time.
In particular, he referred to 1993’s disastrous Super Mario Bros. movie, hinting that its financial failure forever turned the company off of live action adaptations.
While the idea of an animated Mario movie is bound to cause an epidemic of fangasms, Kimishima wasn’t ready to announce it just yet. He said:
We’d like to use IPs that are really quite popular. But I can’t exactly say “we’re doing Mario!” All I can say is that we’ll make something everyone can enjoy.
This could mean one of two things: either Nintendo won’t start with a Mario movie or they want to keep the project under-wraps until its 100% confirmed.
Moreover, Kimishima said that the company isn’t sure if it wants to partner with Hollywood studios to make these movies, but that the option is on the table.
Either way, with such a colorful array of exciting franchises at their fingertips, one can easily get hyped up for Nintendo putting these franchises to film. Just imagine the possibilities: an epic fantasy adventure based on The Legend of Zelda, a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque space opera based on Star Fox, and a Fast and Furious-style F-Zero movie. If Nintendo decides to partner with Hollywood (preferably not Sony Pictures), then their movies can just add to the booming animation industry.
Overall, Kimishima said that the main purpose of these movies is to introduce general audiences to their beloved franchises. Specifically, he stated:
Our primary goal is to increase the number of people who know our IPs. Our core business is to create games and hardware, but the question becomes how to make that business more effective. And of course simple advertisment is no good. So we’d like to create other businesses that can support that goal.
Nintendo fans, cross your fingers; we may be closer than ever to the films we’ve all been asking for.