Spider-Man producer in talks to bring Super Mario back to the big screen
And the hits just keep on coming. Another set of emails taken from the recent hack of Sony have revealed another secret project in the works. According to Buzzfeed, former Marvel Studios boss and The Amazing Spider-Man franchise producer Avi Arad is pursuing the rights to a feature film version of Super Mario Bros.
If you are still slightly traumatized by the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film starring Bob Hoskins, this version would differentiate itself in several ways, starting with the format, which would be animated. It would also be a new potential franchise for Sony. Buzzfeed goes on to confirm that despite Sony’s rivalry with Nintendo when it comes to video games, that doesn’t seem to have been even a minor issue in the pursuit of the property.
“I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic],” producer Avi Arad said in one of the leaked emails, this one to Sony Studio Chief Amy Pascal, dated October 23, 2014. “Happy ceo, lets get together, it’s the mother load [sic].”
The email also contained pictures of Arad with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.
The initial report claimed that the deal between the companies was complete, although Arad later reached out to Buzzfeed to explain that the deal was a long way from done. If/when that does happen, there is still a long way to go from a deal to screen. The project has not been greenlit yet, a script hasn’t been completed, and no filmmakers are attached.
That said, there is definite forward momentum on the project. Many of the leaked emails have revealed that Sony is focusing on developing new franchise properties and fixing the ones they have, including Spider-Man. Super Mario could definitely help to fill that need, and Arad has plenty of experience developing properties taken from genre sources.
Arad spent several years as the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, and eventually went on to become the CEO and founder of Marvel Studios. He has since left that role, but his fingerprints are all over the current superhero film industry. His most recent work for Sony includes the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and he is currently working on a reboot of Popeye.
Over the last few years, Arad has begun to look to the video game industry for possible projects. He has been connected to several adaptations over the last few years, including Mass Effect, Uncharted, Infamous, and Metal Gear Solid.
With Arad attached, at the very least the Super Mario film would likely be a significant step up over the legendarily bad live action version that is more than two decades old. It would be tough not to.