Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima yesterday told The Asahi Shimbun that the company plans to make movies starring its iconic characters. That news will send shivers down the spine of those who remember Nintendo’s first cinematic foray, 1993’s Super Mario Bros. movie. Because it ignored most of the mythology and certainly the tone of the brilliant platform games it was supposedly inspired by, Super Mario Bros. never stood a chance (well, it might’ve had one chance). But the problem there was that Nintendo ceded control to movie producers who knew nothing about video games. That will hopefully change, as Kimishima said in yesterday’s interview that Nintendo’s looking to handle as much of the production itself as possible.
So if we have a chance at some good Nintendo movies, what do we want to see? We’re going to move past the obvious and already in motion (or not) Nintendo franchises and get at the lesser-known games that could find success as major motion pictures. Let’s a-go!
Super Mario Bros. 2
Listen, I know I just dressed down the putrid Super Mario Bros. movie, but Nintendo has been about pure gameplay for so long, and has always shrugged its shoulders at story. Maybe some fans are worried a Nintendo movie won’t make narrative sense, and will stay away from the theaters? But there’s a way to rectify that, and it starts with Super Mario Bros.‘s giant cliffhanger ending:
It would go a long way towards showing they cared about narrative if Nintendo cleaned up the mess they made the last time. Also, we were cheated out of seeing that realistic lizard Yoshi thrown off a cliff so Mario could jump higher. Therefore Super Mario Bros. 2 would be RATED R.
A movie based on the NES classic Balloon Fight would be all well and good — get Clooney to put on a helmet and float around some twinkling stars and you’re good to go — but the real joy of this adaptation would be the soundtrack. You know how the trend in trailers is to use a slow, sad piano versions of an iconic theme? I’d get real emotional if that was done to the Balloon Fight song. (Also balloon people would fall from the sky and paint the ground with their brains so this movie would also be RATED R.)
If The Jungle Book has taught us anything, it’s that movies about humans interacting with animals are huge these days. But since the Villager is a psychopath, this would be a movie that affirms humanity’s dominance over animals. Its bloody, brutal dominance. RATED R.
You guys play Brain Age ever? Man, I love it, and try to get some Devilish Mice or Change Maker in every day. But the body-less, sometimes devil horn-adorned MC of the mental training games, Doctor Ryuta Kawashima, can be pretty condescending if I struggle with a particular challenge. When he says “Concentrate! Be sure to concentrate!” or asks if I’m “a little tired today”, I find myself shouting horrifyingly vulgar insults at him, right there in the middle of Starbucks. A Brain Age movie would be a beautiful Rocky-esque story of an angry young man coming to appreciate the tough-love of his trainer and finding the strength to overcome even the greatest of obstacles (in this case, Calculations Times 100).
But again, he’s like a shockingly huge dick to the trainer. RATED R.
Super Smash Bros.
And finally, the culmination of the Nintendo Cinematic Universe, Phase One — Super Smash Bros. Mario, the Balloon Fighter, Tom Nook, and Dr. Ryuta Kawashima have to join together to fight a hand. Like, a big floating hand. And they’ve gotta do this in outer space. It might seem like a huge departure from the previous Nintendo movies, but remember, the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with a guy building himself a sort-of futuristic mech suit and just saw a giant man beat up a spider-boy while a living jewel shot a laser at an adult man dressed like a bird. These things escalate pretty quickly. RATED R.
Follow Mikey on Twitter @mikeymccollor.