Super Mario Bros. is on track to become the biggest box office hit in history for a gaming movie adaptation, pipping arch rival Sonic to the opening weekend top spot. In honor of Nintendo finally realizing the power of their biggest franchise outside of the video gaming consoles they sell (except that one time they let working class Shakespearean actors Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo put on the plumbers overalls, which was brilliant) we've picked out a few other hot properties they might want to pitch to Hollywood studios for film and TV.
Wario & Waluigi
The most natural continuation of Nintendo's big screen ambitions would be rectifying the damning omission of the best duo in the Mushroom Kingdom. Rather than cast as the antagonist foils to Mario and Luigi, Wario and Waluigi would be a dark comedy heist film, as the pair attempt some sort of caper against the Mario Bros. and are repeatedly and easily foiled at every turn, often with no input from their unwitting nemeses. Stepping away from the animated approach, back to the slightly grittier live action history of Mario movies, this calls for comedic double-act chemistry with a passing resemblance to the little 'n' large pair, So the natural casting choice is Danny DeVito and Glenn Howerton of Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. No further information necessary, hand this paragraph to the nearest film studio executive and sit back ready to count your money, Miyamoto-san.
The hypercompetitive, and ability-heavy sportsmanship in Mario Kart lends itself perfectly to the structure of a sports anime. Heck, there's already a manga out there of it. A rising rookie, making their way through the various cups and grand prix, plenty of outsized characters to clash against and befriend, and a whole host of dirty tricks and special attacks to spice up the tension. Think of it like Initial D meets SK8 The Infinity, but with significantly more cheap losses at the hands of a rogue Blue Shell. Best to leave the casting to the animation house on this one, we don't need decisions like Chris Evans as Lakitu or whatever they would come up with in the focus-tested boardroom.
The tandem success of The Last of Us on HBO suggests there are legions of adult gamers – perhaps ones at the sort of age to have fond memories of classic SNES titles – champing at the bit for mature themes of parenthood in their comic adventure. But that doesn't mean you have to go as gritty as invoking Cormac McCarthy's The Road in your tale of reluctant fathers taking a lost child on a long journey. Yoshi's Island could be a prestige anime, á la Lone Wolf & Cub or The Mandalorian, by an animation house with a proven track record in the adaptation arena. Something like Castlevania, or Cyberpunk Edgerunner's Studio Trigger, with entirely silent performances by Yoshi and Baby Mario given life through the characters they meet on the way or problems they solve together.
As the most humanoid character in Nintendo's back catalogue, Samus Aran is probably best suited for a live action TV series adaptation. And with the high stakes setting of space pirates and alien eradication, is also well-suited to a grittier tone. An episodic format provides a good structure for the ability gathering and new area exploration aspects of the series' genre trademarks, leading up to a climactic showdown against the Queen Metroid. Also a good tie-in for any sort of big remakes you might be planning sometime in the near future? Nintendo? Please?
There are plenty of cute stories you could tell about village life in Animal Crossing, as they have done in the official Gekijô-ban Dôbutsu no Mori anime, but going the indie route with an arthouse production company like A24 could make something fresh and exciting. While the standard option of a down-on-her-luck waitress making a fresh start in a new town entirely populated by animals, with a raccoon dog for a landlord, is always open, you could lean into the emotional journey. Learning to trust again, becoming a pillar of the community, tending a vegetable garden and accidentally digging up a fossil to donate to the local museum. A feelgood, coming-of-age, early adulthood, balm for the soul sort of film, all that stuff those Palme d'Or judges go for. Nintendo isn't just for the masses! Wes Anderson fans can also be a lucrative market for future Animal Crossing games, with all those bold pastel colors and opportunities for symmetrical building and planimetric composition. Either that or go for a gritty film noir detective thriller, as imagined by u/vibraniumcap on Reddit. A24 does love monochromatic thrillers, after all.