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Sounds Like Nintendo Is Getting Serious About Making Movies

"From now on we'd like to do things ourselves more than just license something."


[UPDATE] NeoGAF user GSR has now translated Kimishima's interview, shining some new light on Nintendo's movie efforts. Kimishima said Nintendo is currently speaking with "a number of partners" and hopes to finalize a deal in the "not-too-distant future."

He also spoke about the poorly received 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie and said Nintendo is hoping to be more involved in the production of films.

"That live-action film didn't do particularly well at the box office," he said. "From now on we'd like to do things ourselves more than just license something."

Asked if Nintendo was thinking about making another live-action movie, Kimishima suggested an animated film is more likely. "We've already tried [live-action], so perhaps not this time," he said.

Kimishima also said Nintendo's first new movie is planned to come out in the next five years.

Additionally, Kimishima confirmed the following:

  • Shigeru Miyamoto is involved with Nintendo's new film efforts
  • He's didn't say which Nintendo franchises may be spun into movies. "All I can say is that we'll make something everyone can enjoy."
  • The primary goal of making Nintendo movies is to expand the profile of the company's franchises.

You can read GSR's translation of the interview here on NeoGAF.

The original story is below.

In February this year, Shigeru Miyamoto said because Nintendo sees itself as an "entertainment" company, he was not opposed to the idea of bringing Nintendo franchises to the big screen.

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Now, it appears that is definitely going to happen, as Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima reportedly said in a new interview that the company will release a new movie in the next 2-3 years.

In an interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun, as translated by Kyle McLain on Twitter, Kimishima reportedly offered some new details on Nintendo's movie plans.

Here is McLain's summation of Kimishima's comments:

For context, here is what Miyamoto said about the idea of making movies in the February Fortune interview.

"Because games and movies seem like similar mediums, people's natural expectation is we want to take our games and turn them into movies," Miyamoto said at the time, noting that Nintendo has fielded numerous offers over the years. "I've always felt video games, being an interactive medium, and movies, being a passive medium, mean the two are quite different.

"As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo's role as an entertainment company, we're starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that," he added. "And we'll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future."

Kimishima apparently did not share any further details about Nintendo's movie plans. His comment about producing the films as much as it can internally sounds like good news for fans who want to see Nintendo's franchises and characters handled with care and attention. Ubisoft is doing something similar through its Ubisoft Motion Pictures division, which is behind the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie. Whether or not Nintendo creates an entirely new division internally to produce movies remains to be seen.

The film business isn't entirely alien to Nintendo, as the company brought Mario to the big-screen in 1993 with the poorly received Super Mario movie. Most recently, Nintendo's Donkey Kong appeared in the recent Adam Sandler movie, Pixels. Before that, leaked emails revealed that Sony Pictures was in deep negotiations with Nintendo to acquire the film rights to make an animated Mario movie.

In addition, there was a report of Nintendo producing a Legend of Zelda TV show for Netflix ("Game of Thrones for a family audience"), though Nintendo has since distanced itself from that speculation.

Movies wouldn't be the only new area of business for Nintendo. Earlier this year, Nintendo announced a major deal with Universal Parks to bring its characters to theme parks around the world. Additionally, Nintendo recently released its first smartphone game has laid out plans for the next two.

What Nintendo franchises would you like to see made into movies? Let us know in the comments below.

Update: this story has been updated to include new details and amended to fix errors.

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