Sony Plans To Reboot ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Revealed After Closing Deal With Nintendo Emails Are Leaked.
By Sarah Jayne Alexander
This is one reboot we can definitely get behind! If you were a 90’s kid, you will no doubt recall the highly anticipated release of a Super Mario Bros cinematic adaptation released by Buena Vista Pictures in May 1993. You may have tried to forget but for anyone who is too young or simply has not seen it, the film, based on the famous computer game, starred the late Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, the late Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, and Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy. Much like the game, the storyline follows the plumbers-come-heroes on an unexpected adventure after they cross into a dystopian-like parallel universe where dinosaurs have evolved rather than mammals into walking, talking humanoids. Their mission is to save Daisy-an unknowing Princess by birth- who finds herself kidnapped by the evil Lizard-tongued King Koopa-realm overlord.
There are a number of reasons why this film failed miserably at the box office and even more reasons why it should be given a massive 20reboot. Given that way back in 1993 things like Real D, 3D, IMAX, and RED 5K Digital cameras were not part of the everyday film making/watching process, there are a few things about The Super Mario Bros. VFX that we can forgive. However! This does not excuse the bad casting, poorly written script, holey storyline and the best scene out of 104mins comprising of swaying Goombas in an elevator. The overall reception was a resounding negative one-raising a poor 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, and leading to the anticipated Nintendo release struggling to make back a mere half of the massive $48 Million budget. Nintendo never sold the rights for film adaptations ever again-well until now. In the past 12 months or so Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto-creator of The Mario Bros. games has reportedly been playing around with creating animated shorts based on the company’s properties which may be what lead to this new deal becoming a reality for Sony.
According to a report issued by Buzzfeed based on Sony’s recently leaked emails, Nintendo and Sony Pictures appear to have closed a big figure deal for the film rights to the Super Mario Bros. video game franchise. The report includes a selection of emails between producer Avi Arad and Sony studio boss Amy Pascale talking about closing the deal and the future plans for the franchise-one of which suggests the film should be animated rather than another live-action attempt. Looking at how well animated films like ‘The Lego Movie’ ‘ Big Hero 6’ have done in recent years, and with 2015’s ‘Minions’ Movie set to dominate the box office this might be both the best option and the answer to a successful cinematic Mario Bros. film and possibly leading to more like it. Mr Arad responded with a follow up email titled ‘Mario’ claiming- “I am the proud father of Mario the animated film,” which was dated 23rd October. Previous emails revealed Avi Arad had been chasing the rights for some time with a trip to Japan planned back in Feb and a pitch for the franchise scheduled for July 2014. Arad has commented on this only to say “it is the beginning of negotiations” regardless of the breached emails implying the deal closed before November. Who to believe?!
Sony Pictures fell foul to an extensive security breach of their server last week which has lead to thousands of emails, finished cuts of unreleased films, celebrity contact information, and work-in-progress scripts amongst other things being released to the public. A group named ‘Guardians of Peace’ have claimed they are responsible but the timing of the attack coincides with controversial film ‘The Interview’ being released by the studio giants leading to speculation that North Korea are in-fact themselves responsible.
During the hack, Sony Pictures Animation President of Production -Michelle Raimo Kouyate was found to have emailed her thanks to Mr Arad and says she can “think of 3-4 movies right out of the gate on this.” If this is true, it would mean that this is not just a monumental franchise acquisition for Sony but that it could be the one to replace the revenue they will lose should Marvel Studios get their own way and win back the Spiderman (of which Avi Arad is a credited producer of) franchise in order to reboot it as they see fit. Sony Studios are yet to release a statement regarding the Mario breach or confirm its production status.
This is a developing story, we will update when details and information becomes available.
What are your thoughts? Do you think an animated reboot would be better than live-action? Let us know!