Could Sony be working on another Super Mario Bros movie?

15 Dec 2014

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Actors Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. Photo taken from Super Mario Bros

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Remember the Super Mario Bros movie? Who could forget it? The Academy, that’s who. But two decades on, a new animated adaptation of the Nintendo gaming series could soon be on its way.

That's according to Buzzfeed reports that point to information obtained in the recent large-scale hack of e-mails that hit Sony Pictures. One thread of messages has suggested that film producer Avi Arad – best known as CEO and Chairman of Marvel Studios – recently acquired the rights to produce animated films based on the Super Mario franchise.

In an October email with the subject line 'Mario', Arad told Sony studio chief Amy Pascal that he was "the proud father of mario the animated film [sic]" before forwarded images of him alongside Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.

Pascal later forwarded the email to Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures subsidiary TriStar Pictures, along with the message: “Avi closed Mario brothers.”

Arad also sent an email to Sony Pictures Animation president of production Michelle Raimo Kouyate thanking her for a congratulatory basket she sent him filled with Mario Bros merchandise. "Let’s build a Mario empire," Arad wrote. Kouyate sent a photo of the basket to Pascal, writing: "I can think of 3-4 movies right out of the gate on this. So huge!"

Biggest disappointment

Any new adaptation of Mario for the big screen will, of course, bring back memories of the 1993 live action version which bombed heavily at the box office. Actor Bob Hoskins would later cite the film as the answer to the questions "What is the worst job you've done," "What has been your biggest disappointment," and "If you could edit your past, what would you change?"

The recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures’ knocked much of its network offline, resulted in the theft and distribution online of five movies about to be released to cinemas worldwide as well as the exposure of vital records including celebrity data and over 47,000 social security numbers.

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com