Nintendo’s adaptation of the popular video game Mario franchise has grossed an extraordinary amount at the North American box offices, just passing the biggest second weekend ever for an animated film, breaking the record previously held by Frozen 2. Globally, Super Mario Bros. has topped $900 million just after 21 days of release, growing steadily toward the $1 billion mark at the box office.
This achievement comes as no surprise. Buzz garnered online for every step of the Super Mario Bros. as cast choices were revealed and trailers dropped. Devoted fans of Mario and average movie enjoyers alike tuned into the premiere and continue to support the record-breaking film. Amid the groundbreaking success of the video game adaptation, renowned Nintendo video game creator Shigeru Miyamoto expresses he has “no doubt” about adapting more Nintendo intellectual property.
Miyamoto created not only the beloved plumber we know and love but also Mario’s antagonist who gained his own solo game, Donkey Kong, and crafted an entirely independent game about a boy with a green cap and a sword: The Legend of Zelda. After promises of other games to be adapted to the big screen, what else can we expect from Nintendo and Illumination’s partnership?
Continuation of the World of Mario
There are almost three hundred games that include Mario in them, including party games with no storyline or versions of the popular racing game Mario Kart. But among the hundreds, there are so many games with beloved fan-favorite characters, including Luigi and his entirely haunted mansion he explores in Luigi’s Mansion, tomboy Princess Daisy of Sarassaland who first made her appearance in Super Mario Land, and Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy, as seen above.
Luma, the star-shaped creature that frequents Super Mario Galaxy, made a cameo in Super Mario Bros. and confirmed the existence of Rosalina and her Comet Observatory. Is it possible for a sequel that includes Rosalina? Doesn’t seem too unworldly!
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda has long been one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises. Shigeru Miyamoto was able to pitch the game after his tremendous success with the Mario franchise. Twenty-nine video games later, The Legend of Zelda continues to relay the long-withstanding rivalry between Link, the hero of Hyrule, and Ganondorf, who wants to manipulate the Triforce for his own antagonistic use.
Each game is a different story centered around Link and Zelda, the princess of Hyrule, and Ganondorf (though some games swap him for an alternate villain). Some games take place on the sea, in the sky, on a train, or trekking through the shadows of the twilight realm. Link is portrayed as a simple farmer in some games, in others, a young orphaned boy or even a time-traveling musician. The entire story is vast and sprawling, home to a world rich with unique regions and a compelling cast of characters of all species.
There is no doubt in my mind that a Legend of Zelda movie would break the Internet, but I fear that if that adaptation were to happen, its release wouldn’t be so immediate. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the first big feature Zelda game since 2017, set to release this upcoming May. Zelda fans are well fed with this direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I don’t see Nintendo trying to move the spotlight anywhere else until the hype for the sequel dies down—which may not come for a long, long time.
Unlike the fantastical games Nintendo often produces, Metroid tells the tale of protagonist Samus Aran, a bounty hunter deep in space. A difficult but thrilling game, Metroid plays with isolation as Samus hunts parasitic monsters that plague the galaxy, a role just for her as the last Metroid in space.
Interestingly enough, Lion Rock Productions acquired the film rights for a Metroid adaptation in the early 2000s. The movie wanted to focus on Samus’ origin story, and at the time, Nintendo had no definitive answers and was wary of trusting the production company to “propose those answers”.
Now that Nintendo does have Samus’ full history fleshed out through manga and video games, I would love to see a film centered on her. In 2020, Marvel star Brie Larson expressed interest in playing a live-action Samus after fans noted her Samus Halloween costume a few years prior. I can definitely see Metroid as either an animated or live-action adaptation.
So many options to choose from! Will Nintendo bring more franchises onto the big screen or stick to the expansive Mario series? For more news about video games, click here.