Following hot on the success of the Super Mario Bros movie earlier this year, Nintendo announced in November 2023 that they were collaborating with Sony to produce a film adaptation of arguably one of the greatest video games of all time–the Legend of Zelda.
The beloved story of indomitable Link, a young elf from the land of Hyrule, saving the mystical Princess Zelda has been covered in 19 games and 3 major remakes, however, it isn’t certain for now if the proposed movie in the making will be taking any of those plot variants or coming up with a brand new retelling of the franchise.
The live-action Legend of Zelda and the Super Mario’s smash hit animation are possibly the first installments of what could very well be the makings of the Nintendoverse. Much like how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has the common denominator of all their movies revolving around a central theme, it can be easy to assume that the video game titan has spotted the formula to Hollywood success—ensuring that all the movies that follow will all ultimately tie in with the Super Mario lore.
With over 40 years of video game supremacy under their belt, Nintendo has a plethora of series to choose to highlight in a potential box office hit. Here’s my list of six they could bring to life next!
Originally designed an antagonist to Super Mario himself by kidnapping his girlfriend (a brunette named “Pauline”, and not the blonde royal Peach), the aggressive, gargantuan gorilla got his own mainstay game where he becomes the hero while Mario went on to establish his gaming dynasty. With this basic plot, Nintendo could expound on Donkey Kong’s journey from being the prototype of King Bowser to forming an eventual allegiance with Mario.
The adorable pink blob with the ability to eat anything (and summarily adapt their characteristics) has been around since 1992 as a very beloved game character. No stranger to the spotlight outside of the gaming realm, Kirby already has had his own spinoff anime series of 100 episodes as well as manga and comic books, making his Hollywood debut a walk in the park for when Nintendo decides to make him his very own movie.
Forever in the shadow of his more popular brother, Luigi made his grand entrance in 2001 as the main character and the hero who saves Mario from King Boo in the titular game Luigi’s Mansion. With 5 installments to this haunted house escapade of the brother with the green hat, Nintendo can be sure that a movie about the shyer of the two plumber brothers will more than likely be a smash hit.
It would seem a little tongue in cheek at this point to say that Nintendo had better make a Pokémon movie, especially since this particular franchise already has had 23 animated movies and one live-action film that made it to the top three best movie adaptations of a video game of all time. The backdrop of the many different terrains that Pokémon and their trainers traverse are just as colorful and quirky as the world stages in the Super Mario franchise, making it quite the easy shift for them to make a story that melds into that of the mustachioed plumber.
The most beloved game during COVID is the 10th iteration in the slice-of-life series that is Animal Crossing. A very straightforward, cozy sim game of the player moving into a new town and working odd jobs to pay for rent may seem like not the greatest plot for a feature-length animated film. But with how well-received the game has been, and the longevity of the franchise, that’s more than enough reasons for Nintendo to come up with a gripping storyline worthy of the Nintendoverse.
A bit on the darker side, especially given the cutesy and colorful adventures just delineated above, the female protagonist Samus Aran has had multiple games about her intergalactic solo battles against alien parasites threatening to take over space colonies. Given that she is one of the first female leads in the all-male-dominated field of gaming and Metroid being one of the most successful franchises of Nintendo, it can be said that Samus and her Zero Suit have more than earned their right to a movie of their own.