For many years Nintendo has held their intellectual properties close to their chest, especially after the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film flopped hard. However, recent events indicate that Nintendo is keen to have another go in Hollywood, with whispers and rumors (that were quickly squashed, mind you) earlier this year of an original live-action series for Netflix based on The Legend of Zelda. More telling is the following direct quote from Nintendo’s earnings report.
“For Nintendo IP, a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising.”
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of such video games as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Star Fox, to name a few, currently manages the Software Planning & Development (SDP) branch of the company. The SDP will be directly involved in overseeing any potential big-screen productions involving Nintendo IPs, as with Bowser’s cameo in Disney’s 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph.
In fact just last month John C. Reilly confirmed that he is signed on to reprise his role as Ralph in Wreck-It Ralph 2, with director Rich Moore quite keen to get Mario in the film in a greater capacity than a one-off mention. “We’ll really come up with something good for Mario to do [in the next film]. To be able to present him in the sequel, would be great.”
Miyamoto told Fortune at E3 this year, “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.”
Whether that means we’ll keep seeing Nintendo’s beloved characters pop up randomly in films like Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels, or if we will eventually see that Legend of Zelda Netflix series come to fruition, only time will tell.