With a Hitman reboot hitting theatres this past weekend and making even less money than its predecessor, it seems like a strange time for Nintendo to come out and say that they want to make more movies based on their own video game properties. Ever since the notorious 1993 film Super Mario Bros bombed at the box office, the Japanese company has been extremely reluctant to license out their characters to Hollywood studios. And let’s face it, based on the terrible track record of video game adaptations up until now, so far it has seemed like they made the right decision. Recently, however, they allowed both Disney and Sony to use some of their characters for Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels, and now they seem to be considering something even bigger for the near future. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto had this to say on the subject:
“Because games and movies seem like similar mediums, people’s natural expectation is we want to take our games and turn them into movies… I’ve always felt video games, being an interactive medium, and movies, being a passive medium, mean the two are quite different… As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo’s role as an entertainment company, we’re starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that—and we’ll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future.”
Earlier this year, there were rumours of a live-action Zelda TV series in development at Netflix, but Nintendo has since denied it. Of course, the denial is somewhat vague, so it’s certainly possible that something could still be happening there. Miyamoto himself also debuted some Pikmin short films at the Tokyo Film Festival last year.
Either way, there does seem to be something happening behind the scenes, because Nintendo’s June earnings report claims that “a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising.” Of course, the real question is whether any Nintendo properties would translate to the big screen. Considering that they have always focused on gameplay over story, it doesn’t seem like such a great fit to me. Do you think Nintendo should adapt more games into movies or have they been smart to avoid it?