Sony Pictures hack: Super Mario Bros. film on the way?

The fallout from the recent Sony Pictures hack continues, with revelations that the studio is looking to secure the rights to make a movie based on Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. franchise.

Buzzfeed shared details from a number of leaked emails that suggest the film will be an animated feature.

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A message dated 23 October this year with the subject “Mario” from movie producer Avi Arad appears to confirm his involvement, explaining to Sony executive Amy Pascal that, “I am the proud father of Mario the animated film.”

There were also several images of Arad with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

The emails seem to suggest that negotiations have been finalised, with Pascal forwarding the messages to an employee at Sony Pictures subsidiary Tristar Pictures alongside the message, “Avi closed Mario brothers. Animated.”

Arad has responded to the claims, explaining that a deal is far from being sealed, with negotiations “just the beginning.” The emails also indicate that Sony Pictures has some big plans for the iconic video game character, with executives reportedly planning four full-length films in order to set up a “Mario empire.”

There have even been suggestions that a director is already in the pipeline, with Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky apparently seen as the ideal candidate. A representative for Tartakovsky, who is behind a number of popular animated series such as Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars, has stated, however, that he is not involved with the movie.

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If the film does eventually go ahead, it would be nearly impossible for it to fare worse than the 1993 film starring Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper. The live-action adaptation of the video game series was both a critical and commercial failure.