In an interview with Asahi Shinbun, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima indicates that the company will develop and release its first film within the next 2-3 years.
Ever since Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima took the wheel from the late, great Satoru Iwata, Nintendo fans knew change was coming – and so it has. For example, under Kimishima’s leadership, the Wii U has been almost completely abandoned in favor of producing content for future hardware. Kimishima’s Nintendo has also been more aggressive in the mobile space, with plans for at least two more Nintendo mobile games to release by the end of the year. However, one of the biggest changes Kimishima is bringing to Nintendo has just been revealed: Nintendo is going to start making films.
This news came from an interview Kimishima gave to Asahi Shinbun. In the interview, Kimishima indicated that Nintendo hopes to do as much of the film production as it can without reaching out to other companies. As for when fans can expect Nintendo’s first big movie venture to hit the big screen, Kimishima is aiming for the first Nintendo film project to release within the next two to three years.
Nintendo entering the film industry is big news not only for Nintendo itself, but the film industry at large. Despite being criticized for its hardware in recent years, Nintendo has still consistently released well-received first-party games, and one has to imagine that the level of care the Big N applies to its video games will translate to its film productions.
Having said that, it remains to be seen if Nintendo’s films will be based on its video game franchises, or if they will be completely original works. It seems most likely that Nintendo will work to adapt its biggest franchises like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda first, and then perhaps explore the possibility of original films down the road.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if Nintendo truly ends up producing much of its films itself, or if it will license its characters to outside sources while retaining some creative control in order to avoid another Super Mario Bros. movie debacle. The latter option would probably be the more profitable route for the company, and carry with it a lot less risk.
It seems like one obvious partner for Nintendo would be Disney. After all, there have been rumors in the past of Nintendo partnering with Disney to make films, and Disney has proven itself to be more than capable when working with established franchises. One just has to look at the success Disney has achieved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the records it broke by reviving the Star Wars film series for a new generation of viewers, to have confidence in the company’s ability to handle Nintendo’s characters with care.
If not Disney, then an unlikely ally for Nintendo may be found with Sony. Sony’s leaked emails from last year indicated that Sony may already be producing an animated Super Mario film, but considering the company’s competition with Nintendo in the gaming market, the possibility of the two companies joining forces for film production does seem like a long shot.
In any case, it will be exciting to see Nintendo’s various franchises adapted into films. Perhaps if the Assassin’s Creed movie fails, Nintendo will be the one to usher in the golden age of video game to film adaptations, whether that’s with a Pokemon movie, a Super Mario movie, or whatever else.
What Nintendo games do you want to see as movies? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.