Amazing Spider-Man producer Avi Arad is in negotiations with Nintendo to bring an animated version of Super Mario Bros. to the big screen, leaked emails from the Sony Pictures hack reveal.
Although BuzzFeed initially reported a deal had been closed, as the emails would seem to suggest, Arad later clarified his talks with the video game giant were “just the beginning.”
The emails indicate enthusiasm from studio executives, with Co-Chairman Amy Pascal suggesting Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, Star Wars: Clone Wars) to direct, and Sony Pictures Animation's Michelle Raimo Kouyate telling Arad, “Let’s build a Mario empire!” “I can think of 3-4 movies right out of the gate on this," she wrote in a message to Pascal. "So huge!”
Emails indicate that Arad, the founder of Marvel Studios and former chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, has been pursuing the Super Mario Bros. rights for at least a couple of years. On July 14, he wrote to Pascal, "I am heading to Tokyo … I am going to try and bring back a little plumber. I guess we can all use our pipes cleaned.”
As BuzzFeed notes, these negotiations suggest a significant shift for Nintendo, which has resisted licensing its properties for film since the 1993 live-action flop Super Mario Bros.