Recently it seems as if game developers have been pushing their characters into another medium known as film. Blockbuster gaming franchises like Ratchet & Clank and Assassin’s Creed are scheduled to arrive on the big screen in the next few years, and that trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Even Microsoft’s Halo has made the jump to a brief online-only series called Halo: Nightfall, so the possibilities for the mediums crossing over seems endless.
Despite these recent pushes, there are a handful of past attempts that still leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths; the largest mishap being the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie. Apparently that disastrous, Nintendo-sanctioned motion picture hasn’t deterred people from gunning for the film rights to the Super Mario series, however, as leaked emails from Sony Pictures indicate that the firm may have already got the go-ahead to make an animated film based on the beloved gaming property.
Following a major cyber attack on Sony, a number of internal emails and documents were leaked to the public. In one set of email outed by BuzzFeed, Sony Pictures’ producer Avi Arad emailed Sony Studio Chief Amy Pascal to inform her that “I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic].”
Arad then allegedly emailed photos of him with Super Mario creator Shigeru Miramoto and current Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. As for the latter picture, he sent Pascal a text-based message stating “Happy ceo, lets get together, it’s the mother load [sic].” This exchange is dated as occurring on October 23, 2014, which would imply that the deal is still relatively fresh. Amy Pascal then forwarded this message to the head of the Sony-owned TriStar Pictures, Tom Rothman, stating that “Avi closed Mario brothers.” She then once again confirmed what Arad himself had claimed, assuring that the film and its rights pertained to an “animated” motion picture.
Later emails from Avi Arad also confirm that Sony Pictures Animation President of Production, Michelle Raimo Kouyate, sent a gift basket to him with a number of different Mario-themed goodies in it as a thanks for securing the rights to the Mario Bros. film. When Arad thanked her for the gists, Kouyate responded “[t]hank you Avi! Let’s build a Mario empire!” A picture of the aforementioned gift basket was also sent to Pascal by Kouyate, where the latter Sony employee stated “I can think of 3-4 movies right out of the gate on this. So huge!”
Since this deal is in the early stages of development, if reports are accurate, then there isn’t much to report in terms of casting or potential directors. That said, later emails are said to have revealed Amy Pascal’s recommendation of Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars). According to Pascal, the Super Mario film would be “soooo perfect for [Tartakovsky],” although a rep for the director has since confirmed to BuzzFeed that he “is not involved.”
Avi Arad has since issued a statement to BuzzFeed regarding the alleged emails, stating that negotiations for the rights to an animated Mario film were “just the beginning” and were not finalized. What makes these reports even more bizarre is that BuzzFeed is unable to confirm the emails in question, but the site is adamant that they are accurate.
Given the fact that Arad has since confirmed that talks are at the very least still underway, it’s looking like the deal could have gone through. For now, however, fans anxious to see a Super Mario Bros. movie should take this report with a grain of salt.
Would you want to see a Super Mario Bros. animated film? Which director would you like to see tackle the project?
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