The Mario movie is coming out next year and while very little is known about it, its delay in April hasn’t given Nintendo fans a lot of confidence in the production. Of course, it’s too early to tell if it will be a good movie or not, but what is interesting to discuss is what other Nintendo properties would be good movies.
When we consider this, it’s fair to ask – what makes a “good” movie? Is it the plot, memorable characters, an amazing soundtrack, or lots of Morbin’? I would say all that helps (especially the Morbin’), but when it comes to conceptualizing a movie from a video game, there’s a greater thing to consider: how does the core premise fits into a cinematic wrapper?
Basically, what we’re thinking about here is which game has a premise and gameplay that is inherently cinematic. Consider a game like Pong – the core concept would need a lot of iteration to structure it into a serviceable movie. However, something like The Witcher has a lot to offer in terms of its gameplay and story. In this way, a game could be a good movie if it’s easy to imagine a cinematic representation that would enhance what the original experience is at its core (diving into lore that isn’t explained, fleshing out characters that aren’t shown much, etc.).
That being said, the games included in this list are my own personal opinions. Everyone will have a different idea of what can be a good film, and I have tried my best to explain why I have chosen these franchises. So, without further ado, here are the five Nintendo franchises I believe could be turned into amazing movies (in no particular order).
Super Smash Bros.
This one seems so obvious, it’s hard not to mention it. Who wouldn’t want to see all their favorite characters duking it out on the big screen? I think the biggest draw of this movie concept is what Subspace Emissary from Super Smash Bros. Brawl touched on so well – the different politics between characters. Which characters would be teaming up and which ones would be at odds? Seeing this in a more complete form is just a blast to imagine.
Furthermore, there’s a movie idea living in the most unlikely place in Super Smash Bros. – all the characters being trophies. This was another concept touched on in the Subspace Emissary, and it is common lore in the series, but it has never fully been explained in any contained story. Making a movie that explores why the characters turn into trophies and introducing the Master Hand as villain could be a ton of fun. Pair this with endless amounts of Nintendo characters (and now third-party characters) working together to defeat the Master Hand, as well as each other, and there’s no way the movie could be bad.
Metroid is another series that just makes sense when thinking about it. Space pirates, parasitic aliens, a Federation bounty hunter? Sign me up! Additionally, I believe Metroid Dread showed us where this series could really shine as a movie. The aesthetic that the E.M.M.I.s create when Samus encounters them in game is the definition of dread. Expanding this dynamic and mood into a full-length feature could be a truly haunting experience.
Sci-fi thrillers have been done to death, but envisioning the story focused on Samus and her encounters with the E.M.M.I.s could create something wholly unique. Imagine Alien only taking place on ZDR, with Samus going up against all of the threats alone. Being able to experience her encounter with these deadly entities using cinematic storytelling would be gripping. Plus, thinking of how her suit would look in real life is enough for me to watch the movie alone!
F-Zero may not be the first Nintendo property to come to mind when thinking of movie ideas, but maybe it should be! The series’ gameplay has always been defined by fast-paced action, and its story has the most over-the-top characters. Just playing one race in F-Zero GX gives a snapshot of how this game could be perfect as a movie. The adrenaline of the races can be felt through a CRT TV, so imagine getting a front row seat of one on a gigantic screen!
Racing movies are a bit less common currently, and there definitely haven’t been any with the machines seen in the F-Zero franchise, so there’s so much a movie like this could experiment with. Just fill the cast with zany characters like Goroh, Zoda, Leon, Digi-Boy, and Captain Falcon, set up the story as all of these characters competing in the F-Zero, and then sprinkle in some lore from the series. With all of this included, and the races prominently featured, this film would be cinematic gold.
The Legend of Zelda
This is another one that is just so obvious it has to be mentioned. Every single mainline Zelda game is a sprawling adventure that has all the makings of a great film. Movies with a hero, a great evil, and a princess are extremely common, but I would love to see one of the more existential versions represented on the big screen. I’m thinking specifically of games such as Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening.
The unique ability of these games to take a very typical fantasy adventure and flip them into a reflection of our own existence is truly fascinating. Getting to dig more into these worlds by deepening the aesthetic and focusing on several characters would be something many of us have desired since playing the games. Also, making a Zelda movie that is equal parts fantasy adventure and existential dread would most likely shock tons of people into seeing it on the premise alone.
The Mother series would undoubtedly make a great movie but perhaps not the most popular one. The series has all the makings of an entertaining film – a cast of charismatic kids, a secret alien threat, and amazing music – but the third entry is still locked as a Japan exclusive; meaning the IP may not have a reach as big as the other franchises on this list. Regardless, there’s just so much in Mother that would translate well to film.
From Ninten’s story in Mother to Lucas’s story in Mother 3, each of the games perfectly balance emotionally impactful events with humor. The aliens show an emotional complexity that is often missed in film, and there’s development in their character over each entry. Tracking this development in a movie that is a coming of age story for our other characters would elevate it into something extremely unique. When you think of the series in cinematic form, it’s basically Nintendo’s version of Stranger Things (it’s even set in the 1980s), and I could see a movie based off of these games become a cult classic.
What did you think of these picks? As mentioned, these are just my opinion and by no means a complete list. Please feel free to discuss what Nintendo franchise you believe would make a good movie!
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