In the weeks leading up to the release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s highly controversial comedy The Interview, Sony Pictures, the film’s producer, suffered a massive leak. Hackers broke into Sony’s email servers, uncovering loads of information, including controversial messages sent by the head of the company, Amy Pascal, and unannounced deals regarding potential film projects, such as Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The gaming division of Sony was mostly unaffected by the recent hack, although they have suffered from massive hacking attacks in the past. However, information from some freshly leaked emails indicates that Sony Pictures has its eyes on a new video-game-to-film adaptation.
But, what game, exactly? One would expect Sony’s video game film projects to be centered around Sony’s own properties. After all, the studio is already making movies based on Ratchet & Clank (which debuts at the Cannes Film Festival next month) and Sly Cooper. Logic dictates that Sony would pursue a Jak & Daxter movie next, as it’s the only one of the three major PS2-era platforming franchises that hasn’t received a film adaptation. However, Sony Pictures is reportedly more interested in developing a film based on one of their competitor’s franchises. Yes, Sony wants to make a Super Smash Bros. movie.
Sony’s interest in a Super Smash Bros. movie is outlined in leaked emails between Amy Pascal and producer Avi Arad. The first email about Super Smash Bros. is dated February 2014, and mentions a meeting that took place in Japan between Arad and his “Nintendo guy.” The second email is from Arad to Pascal, and includes a link to Nintendo’s Amiibo figures.
The emails indicate that Sony Pictures has been attempting to acquire film licensing rights to Mario and Super Smash Bros. for years. This backs up previous reports that Sony Pictures and Nintendo discussed an animated Super Mario Bros. movie. Negotiations evidently failed, however, considering there has been no word since regarding a potential Super Smash Bros. or Super Mario Bros. film from either Nintendo or Sony Pictures.
It’s understandable why Nintendo would be reluctant to sign off licensing rights to Sony Pictures. Sony’s gaming division is one of Nintendo’s chief competitors, and Nintendo has not had great experiences with handing out licensing rights to their products in the past. The licensed CDi Zelda games are notoriously awful, and the film adaptation of Super Mario Bros. flopped with both critics and audiences. If Nintendo were to start licensing out their characters, they would probably demand a significant amount of creative control.
Even so, lately, Nintendo has been at the center of plenty of adaptation rumors. Besides the aforementioned rumors about a Super Mario film, there are also rumors regarding a Netflix-produced The Legend of Zelda TV series. However, Nintendo denies that these projects are taking place.