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Even After Mario's Success, Nintendo's In Danger Of Ruining Other Video Game Movies

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has been out for a little less than a month, but it has already proven itself to be a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut at the box office. Families have turned out in droves to see the beginning of Mario's silver screen adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom, setting box office records and all but ensuring that the franchise will continue. In fact, Mario co-creator Shigeru Miyamoto has strongly hinted that Mario is just the beginning of Nintendo's Hollywood dreams. In a recent interview with Nikkei (translation via VGC), the gaming legend said, "Please keep an eye on our next production ... Nintendo is like a talent agency. We have many other entertainers (on our roster)." In other words, fans should expect to see some of their other favorite Nintendo characters making their way to the big screen soon enough.

With the beginnings of a Nintendo Cinematic Universe beginning to take shape, it's worth considering how Nintendo might go about bringing its other properties to life. Considering the financial returns of "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," it would make a good bit of sense for the gaming giant to stick with Universal and Illumination, which did a commendable job. Miyamoto recently told Screen Rant that he expects Nintendo to continue its partnership with Illumination. When you've already produced the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time, it's difficult to imagine straying too far from the formula. But maybe Nintendo should?

Although Illumination has established itself as a good fit for Mario and his pals, Nintendo may want to consider partnering with a different studio when it comes to adapting different franchises.

Illumination may have the wrong aesthetic for other Nintendo games

In much the same way that you wouldn't expect Dreamworks to make a movie out of "Heavy Metal," maybe Illumination isn't the best fit for some of Nintendo's other marquee properties. A common complaint about "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is that Illumination's usual sensibilities occasionally clash with those of the story being told. Some of the jokes don't quite land for audiences, nor do the constant 80s pop needle-drops, but that's all part of the Illumination package. In the case of the scene featuring A-ha's "Take on Me," it unfortunately replaced a lush orchestral track that had been composed for the scene, leading to the scene being divisive among fans. Basically, just because Illumination's formula works, that doesn't mean that it could (or should) be applied to anything and everything.

The Illumination tone and aesthetic may have birthed the ubiquitous "Minions" franchise and translated nicely to "Super Mario Bros.," but it's not something that would carry over cleanly to, say, "Metroid" or "The Legend of Zelda." It's fun to see Mario training to the tune of "Holding Out for A Hero," but seeing Link lifting boulders while "You're the Best" blares over the speakers wouldn't hit in quite the same way. Fart jokes may fly in "The Secret Life of Pets," but Nintendo fans would riot if Kraid or Ridley suddenly became gassy in a "Metroid" flick. Heck, the possible presence of potty humor was one of the big concerns that some fans had ahead of the release for "The Super Mario Bros. Movie":

Nintendo shouldn't be afraid to get weird

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has built up a lot of goodwill among the Nintendo fanbase, who have brought in a ton of repeat business for theaters and even caused Jack Black's "Peaches" song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the movie also plays things incredibly safe. Another thing that the movie has been dinged on by critics is the fact that it's largely very predictable, from its basic story structure to its finer character beats. The movie is made up of a ton of safe bets, which makes sense for a studio heading into uncharted territory with a massive franchise. But now that those safe bets have paid off, Nintendo should still be willing to take some risks going forward.

Let Brie Larson play Samus Aran and let John Woo finally direct it. Give us that interactive "Legend of Zelda" movie that would require fans to play along with the action — just maybe not in theaters. Why not a live-action "Fire Emblem?" Or a "Kirby" anime? Or even a "Star Fox" movie made with puppets (it almost kind of happened in one of the games, so why not)? Film is a rich medium that can lend itself to a number of different interpretations of Nintendo's beloved properties; the gaming giant should not feel beholden to the singular tone and aesthetic of Illumination Entertainment.

Ultimately, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is a major hit that definitely deserves a sequel, but Nintendo still runs the risk of torpedoing its newer Hollywood success, especially if it relies on similar tricks for other adaptations.