The Strategist

Nintendo characters are returning to the cinema

05/17/2016 - 15:26

Japanese Nintendo, specializes in the development of game consoles and games for them, is going to try its hand at filmmaking. Now, it’s not about granting licenses for use the characters in movies, but about its own production.

Asahi Shimbun newspaper, quoting Nintendo’s President Tatsumi Kimishima, says that the company intends to do filming with heroes from the company’s games. Thus, the characters of "Super Mario" and "Legend of Zelda" universes may soon come out to cinemas all around the world.

Nintendo will release a 3D-animation featuring the mustachioed plumber Mario and Link from "Legend of Zelda" in the next 2-3 years. Information on the exact timing of the pictures’ release is not reported.

Mr. Kimishima did not revealed details, but confirmed that Nintendo is looking for a partner for the full film, and is in talks with several studios. The company fully rely on its strength, which means that it will finance the project independently. Considering not the most stable position of Nintendo in the financial plan, a question arises: where will the money come from?

Nintendo’s spokesman Makoto Wakae answered the question. He said that Nintendo plans to leverage the filming with part of funds received from sale of a majority stake in the American baseball Mariners Club. Recall that in late April, the US subsidiary of Nintendo has agreed to sell most of its stake in the Mariners, whose cost is estimated at $ 1.4 billion. The share will be purchased by a group of 17 minority club shareholders.

Nintendo’s previous Hollywood experience is not quite successful. This led to the fact that the Japanese for many years refused adapted screenplays of their games.

Super Mario Bros. picture, based on the same-called game, was released in 1993. He was subjected to a barrage of criticism. Even Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that he was disappointed. The Japanese company thinks much of its intellectual property. Until recently, it has not only flatly refused to give out permission to use their images in movies, but even banned licensing of games created by third-party developers.

However, death of Nintendo’s previous president Satoru Iwata apparently changed the company's policy in relation to the movie industry. A bright example of this is "Pixels" movie, where Nintendo characters were re-used.

"Pixels" was not able to correct the '93 error. The picture received horribly low scores, yet still, Nintendo made a step towards the cinema after many years. Maybe new movies of its own production will save the situation, or, at least, play in favor of popularity of Nintendo’s universes.