For a long time, many fans have dreamed of the idea of a film based on the rich characters of Nintendo. Dreams that likely picture a Legend of Zelda film treated with the same reverence received by The Lord of the Rings, or envision an animated adventure crafted by Studio Ghibli. Those same fans are quickly reminded of the nightmare that was the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film, the only official feature-length adaptation of a Nintendo property.
Even if it turned out to be one of those films for you that is so bad, it’s good, Super Mario Bros. was an undeniable trainwreck for all of those involved with the production. After all, it didn’t even gross half of it’s 48 million dollar budget. So understandably, Nintendo soured on the idea of film adaptations for its intellectual property. But that doesn’t keep fans from wondering what a new Super Mario Bros. film could look like today, or imagining the vast scenery of The Legend of Zelda depicted on the big screen.
Well, at a DICE 2016 panel on Wednesday, Roy Lee, president of Vertigo Entertainment and producer of The Lego Movie, gave all of those fans a shimmer of hope. When asked what his dream movie project would be, Lee said, “Mine would be Nintendo. I think Zelda, Mario, and the whole universe of characters would be perfect for a Lego Movie type of [film]. I don’t have the rights to it, but I would love to. That would be my Holy Grail.”
“Zelda, Mario, and the whole universe of characters would be perfect for a Lego Movie type of film”
To add to the burgeoning imaginations of fans, fellow panelist and president and CEO of Prime Universe Films, Adrian Askarieh, added to Lee’s thoughts by pointing out that Nintendo’s universe is ripe for cinematic success if executed properly. “Executed properly” is certainly the sticking point in this issue. Nintendo doesn’t want another film that sputters out at the box office and is the butt of jokes. They want successful films to be proud of, that capture the essence of their characters and adapt their universes to cinema with adoration. I can’t imagine a better example of a film that accomplished all of those feats against all odds and expectations than The Lego Movie. If that film could work, certainly one based on a Nintendo franchise could as well.