21 years after the disastrous Super Mario Bros. live-action movie flopped at the box office, Sony Pictures is pursuing the video game property, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 producer Avi Arad trying to secure the distribution rights from Nintendo. BuzzFeed initially reported that the producer had closed a deal for the movie rights, information which was obtained through emails leaked from the Sony hack, but Avi Arad responded in an email that negotiations with Nintendo are "just the beginning." In an October 23 email to Sony's Amy Pascal, Avi Arad stated, "I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic]."
Amy Pascal later forwarded that email to Tom Rothman, who heads up Sony-based Tri-Star Pictures, stating that Avi Arad "closed" Mario Bros. and that it would be an animated feature. In another email, Amy Pascal suggested that Genndy Tartakovsky should direct the new Super Mario Bros. film, stating, "It's soooo perfect for him." However, reps for the director told BuzzFeed that he "is not involved." Genndy Tartakovsky directed Hotel Transylvania and the upcoming Hotel Transylvania 2 for Sony Pictures Animation, and he is also working on Popeye for the studio.
Regardless of whether or not the deal is closed, the site reveals that they could find no emails from anyone at Sony expressing concern over a conflict of interest with Super Mario Bros., since the video game division Sony Computer Entertainment and their Playstation consoles are direct competitors with Nintendo. Also, after the 1993 failed Super Mario Bros., Nintendo kept their properties away from Hollywood, although the game's creator Shigeru Miyamoto had this to say in a 2013 interview about possible adaptations.
"There have been a lot of cases where we've been approached by different people with lots of different ideas," he said. "And I don't want to say that it's impossible, [but] I don't want you to get the impression that we are in the middle of making a movie or something. ... But we always have to take into account the fact that game entertainment and movie entertainment is quite different - one being passive, and one being active. Those don't always necessarily mix."
Do you think the time is right to bring Mario and Luigi back to the big screen? Or was 1993's Super Mario Bros. so bad that these Italian brothers shouldn't return to the movies? Chime in with your thoughts below.