In 1993, Super Mario Bros., the first live-action based on a video game, bombed at the box office. Nintendo was so shooken by the experience that they swore off the siren call of Hollywood ever since. Over the past few years the company's stance on has softened as they dipped their toes into the water by allowing some of their characters to appeared in Wreck-It Ralph (Bowser, Princess Daisy) and Pixels (Donkey Kong, Mario and the dog from Duck Hunt). Now Nintendo appears ready to make the big plunge into live-action films again.
Buried in the company's June earnings report was this statement:"For Nintendo IP, a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising."
Nintendo’s Software Planning & Development (SPD) Division, run by Japanese video game designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto, will be tasked with developing their properties hand-in-hand with Hollywood.
"We’ve had, over the years, a number of people who have come to us and said ‘Why don’t we make a movie together—or we make a movie and you make a game and we’ll release them at the same time?’," Miyamoto told Fortune at E3 2015. "Because games and movies seem like similar mediums, people’s natural expectation is we want to take our games and turn them into movies. … I’ve always felt video games, being an interactive medium, and movies, being a passive medium, mean the two are quite different."
Miyamoto added, "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."
He also debunked rumors of Netflix developing a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda.