Nintendo is looking to expand some of its most well-known franchises into the world of film within the next few years. The idea of this is exciting for some, but terrifying for others — especially for those who remember Nintendo’s past efforts. I’m looking at you, 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie. But I am confident that Nintendo’s revisit to the big screen could lead to some delightful cinema.
Here are five ideas I think would make for great films based on Nintendo’s current intellectual property.
1. Star Fox
Defenders of the Lylat System – An action-packed space adventure consisting of CGI characters and exciting perilous environments.
Plot: After his father’s untimely death while fighting in the Lylat Wars, Fox McCloud (Nathan Fillion) is chosen by the leader of the Cornerian star fleet, General Pepper (Christopher Lloyd), to lead a team of ace fighter pilots known as Star Fox on a mission to eradicate the evil emperor, Andross (Kevin Michael Richardson). His team consists of: Falco Lombardi (T.J. Miller), a hotshot pilot with a snarky attitude, Peppy Hare (Scott Wilson), a seasoned war veteran who fought alongside Fox’s father during the dawn of the Lylat Wars, and Slippy Toad (Charlie Day), a manic young engineer with a talent for invention.
In order to reach Andross, Star Fox must take to the skies and liberate the Lylat System’s civilians from the martial rule of Andross’s fiercest generals, as well as survive several run-ins with a corrupt rival team of pilots known as Star Wolf, led by the dastardly Wolf O’Donnell (Jeremy Irons), and Pigma Dengar (Lewis Black), the greedy turncoat responsible for the death of Fox’s father. Along the way, Fox will learn of the disturbing motivations behind the start of the Lylat Wars, as well as the harrowing details of his father’s murder.
A wacky sci-fi comedy in the artistic style of Tim Burton’s James and the Giant Peach.
Plot: A young boy named Ness (Richard Steven Horvitz) is awoken in the night by a rogue meteor strike near his home. Upon investigating the crash site, he is told by an extraterrestrial insect that there is a remarkable psychic power residing within him, and that he must learn to access this power in order to save his world from an imminent alien invasion led by the universal cosmic destroyer known as Giygas. In order to unlock the psychic abilities within him and save the world, Ness must seek out sanctuaries of power to become more in touch with the world around him.
Along the way, Ness will make friends with other gifted children like him, including Paula (Tara Strong), a kindhearted young girl with healing abilities, Jeff (Nancy Cartwright), an introverted private schoolboy who can fix anything, and Poo (Eric Stuart), a young martial arts master. On their journey, the children will learn to step out of their respective comfort zones and combat their worst fears while combating the most dangerous and most peculiar aliens that the galaxy has to offer.
A colorful solitary exploration featuring tiny CGI characters set in small practical environments that are filmed to look overwhelmingly expansive.
Plot: Captain Olimar (Martin Freeman), courier for the Hocotate intergalactic freight company, is taking a joyride in his freighter, the S.S Dolphin, after a long week of deliveries. Suddenly, an asteroid hits Olimar’s ship, sending it hurling into the orbit of a mysterious planet. The ship plummets to the planet’s surface, and is demolished in the process, leaving Olimar stranded in an unfamiliar world.
Olimar discovers a tiny species of creature hidden under the planet’s soil and proceeds to pull them to the surface. The little creatures are so grateful to be free that they help Olimar make minor repairs to his ship to get a diagnostics check of his spacesuit. He realizes that he only has about 30 days worth of oxygen in his supply tank and needs to fully repair his ship before that time is up in order to survive. He enlists the help of the small creatures he’s befriended and searches the mysterious planet for his ship’s missing parts, unaware of the vicious monsters that lurk in the planet’s darkest corners.
4. Donkey Kong
A fun family-oriented animated film in the style of Pixar’s The Incredibles.
Plot: King K. Rool (Mark Strong) is livid after numerous defeats at the hands of Donkey Kong (Ice Cube) and his family, and is determined to eradicate the Kongs once and for all. Armed with a mechanized mobile weapons facility and a newly constructed doomsday device known as the “Blast-o-Matic,” K. Rool and the Kremlings set a course for DK Island with intention to wipe it off the face of the earth. In a sudden lapse of judgment and concentration, K. Rool’s Kremlings knock the vessel off course and send it straight into a bed of razor sharp rocks, leaving their giant weapon facing the Kongs’ island with no fuel and no way of suppressing fire.
In an act of desperation, K. Rool orders his minions to keep the Kongs distracted while the weapon is being repaired. The Kremlings manage to kidnap three members of Donkey Kong’s family: his energetic niece Tiny Kong (Anna Kendrick), his clumsy older brother Chunky Kong (Patrick Warburton), and his colorfully bizarre distant cousin Lanky Kong (Adam Devine). With help from his live wire nephew Diddy (Steve-O), as well as an array of tools and weapons thanks to the engineering expertise of his good friend Funky (Hannibal Buress) and scientific genius of his grandfather Cranky (Mark Hamill), DK sets off to show King K. Rool that he messed with the wrong monkey’s uncle, and that this is Donkey Kong country.
A gritty space thriller with plenty of high-speed action (think Death Race 2000 in space).
Plot: Captain Douglas Jay Falcon (Channing Tatum) is the most prolific and most arrogant bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is infuriatingly hard to work with, but he always gets the job done. Fresh off the biggest job of his career, Captain Falcon is intercepted by the Galactic Federation, who have a contract that only he can fulfill. His mission: to enter a potentially fatal street racing Grand Prix known as F-Zero, hosted by the fearsome criminal kingpin known as Black Shadow (Idris Elba).
When news spreads of Falcon’s involvement in the competition, nearly every villain and criminal that he has detained in the past put their stakes in the race. Black Shadow not only puts up a huge prize pool for the Grand Prix, but also offers a substantial sum of money to whomever manages to kill Falcon during the contest. Captain Falcon must survive F-Zero in order to defeat Black Shadow and complete his contract.
With all of the IP at Nintendo’s disposal, the possibilities for Nintendo’s future in film are virtually endless. Who knows, maybe a few years down the line we’ll have a full-blown Nintendo cinematic universe, Marvel-style!
Like my ideas? Hate my ideas? Have any of your own? Let me know in the comments below!