10 Nintendo Franchises We Want As Movies After Mario’s Success

Nintendo is a household name in the gaming industry, with a plethora of beloved characters and franchises, but it has virtually no presence in Hollywood, until now. With the massive success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, exploring more adaptations of the company’s properties is a no-brainer. There are still plenty of Nintendo stories and characters that would make for incredible movies, and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has said that more Nintendo movies are coming

As Princess Peach puts it, “There’s a huge universe out there. With a lot of galaxies.”

Given the rich catalog of characters, here are some Nintendo movies we’d like to see on the big screen — anime or live action, doesn’t really matter.

1) Luigi’s Mansion

According to Mario voice actor Chris Pratt, there have already “been talks” of a Luigi’s Mansion movie, based on the spin-off that’s a signature for Mario’s lesser known brother. Charlie Day was great as the underutilised Luigi in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and we already got a taste of the green plumber navigating a spooky scene in the film. So, a Luigi’s Mansion movie would be the perfect platform to give the often-overlooked Mario brother a chance to shine.

For this spooky spin-off, it’d be nice to hand the reins over to someone with horror chops. Ari Aster is a solid pick — his latest film, Beau Is Afraid, shows that he can add comedic overtones to his mastery of dread. Alternatively, Jordan Peele could also be the right person for the job. His experience in both comedy (Key & Peele) and horror (Get Out, Us) prove that he’s capable of crafting a family-friendly horror film with plenty of terror.

2) Donkey Kong

Every Game Character Appearing In The Super Mario Bros. Movie (9)

Donkey Kong is another character from The Super Mario Bros. Movie who’s getting some buzz for his own spin-off. We saw glimpses of his extended cast in the film, like Cranky Kong and Diddy Kong. So, bring on the rest of his vibrant cast — like Funky Kong and frequent antagonist King K. Rool — to round out a Donkey Kong-starring vehicle.

There’s lots to adapt from the Donkey Kong Country series of games. And a Donkey Kong movie could offer a breezy, tropical adventure that’s fun for the whole family, like Little Miss Sunshine, or go the way of Fast and Furious by focusing on their kart-racing culture.

3) Pikmin

Pikmin were the Minions before the Minions.

Pikmin is a whimsical and charming series that could make for a delightful animated movie. The eponymous cutesy critters are bursting with personality, and are ripe for animation studio Illumination to bring to the silver screen.

In a more surreal and sci-fi approach to something like Minions: The Rise of Gru, the story could follow Captain Olimar and his adventures with the Pikmin as they explore new planets and encounter various challenges, complete with Nintendo’s recognisably adorable character designs.

4) The Legend of Zelda

Given Zelda’s pedigree among the gaming fraternity, it’s equally shocking and surprising that we haven’t seen a film adaptation of The Legend of Zelda yet. The series has a rich history and lore that would translate well to the big screen. Picture a sweeping epic adventure with stunning visuals and a strong female lead in the form of Princess Zelda, accompanied by a stalwart Link.

While Illumination did an admirable job with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, imagine the possibilities if a different studio took over for The Legend of Zelda. Fans have clamoured for a Princess Mononoke-inspired take on the series from the acclaimed Studio Ghibli.

But hear us out: what about a stop-motion The Legend of Zelda? LAIKA Studios has shown in Kubo and the Two Strings that they can effectively combine incredible animation with a compelling sense of fun, wonder, and melancholy that is core to the Zelda franchise. In addition, a stop-motion aesthetic would help lend more character to The Legend of Zelda series.

5) Metroid


As a series so strongly inspired by the Alien franchise, Metroid is a game that could easily make the transition to movies. Samus Aran is a compelling protagonist, and her battles against the Space Pirates and the Metroids could make for a thrilling action movie. Moreover, Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson has already expressed an interest in the role.

A Metroid movie could also explore the deeper themes of identity and isolation that the games touch on. This includes Aran’s origins as an orphan from Earth whose family is killed by the space pirate Ridley, leading her to be raised by the ancient, bird-like Chozo race. Whether it ends up being John Wick in space or Alien for a younger audience, Metroid is a dark and atmospheric sci-fi franchise that has been begging for a movie adaptation.

6) Star Fox


If the Rogue Squadron movie isn’t going to happen, the Star Fox team could take a crack at that formula instead. The cool-looking spaceships and anthropomorphic animals are sure to be a hit with kids, while the darker themes behind the intergalactic war can appeal to older audiences.

By taking cues from Star Wars and Top Gun, Nintendo could leverage the Star Fox franchise to produce an exciting adaptation with captivating characters and intergalactic dogfights. In fact, why not go full circle and give a Star Fox movie to Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinki? His resume even includes trailers to video games like Halo 3, Gears of War, and Doom.

7) F-Zero


It’s been ages since we’ve seen an F-Zero game, but a good film adaptation might be just what the racing franchise needs to get revved up again. There are plenty of great driving-action and sports-drama flicks for an F-Zero movie to draw inspiration from — including Speed Racer, Rush, Ford v Ferrari, and the Fast and Furious franchise.

Plus, let’s not forget that Captain Falcon, the protagonist of the F-Zero series, is a renowned intergalactic bounty hunter off the track. This could lead to some interesting twists, such as Captain Falcon being drawn into an F-Zero championship as he tracks down a dangerous target.

8) EarthBound


In EarthBound, a bunch of paranormal pre-teens save the planet from a cosmic being of unspeakable horror. That’s just Stranger Things, you might say. Sure, there might be some overlap between the two franchises, but EarthBound offers the opportunity to get a lot more weird. After all, the video game series takes players across many strange realms that include dinosaurs, zombies, time-travelling bugs, a blue-loving cult, and even reality-warping musical numbers.

The success of Stranger Things may have shown there’s an audience eager for a 1980s-set story focused on psychic kids, but EarthBound can take what makes Stranger Things great and elevate it with so much more.

9) Splatoon

Did you know that there’s actually a rich dystopian lore behind the zany shooter antics of Splatoon? And a film adaptation is the perfect vehicle to flesh out the mythology of Splatoon’s world.

Snippets of the lore include Splatoon taking place in the far distant future where humans have faced extinction due to rising sea levels from climate change, and sea creatures evolving to become more intelligent.

Our suggestion? Hand the franchise over to George Miller or Matt Reeves for a Mad Max or Planet of the Apes style tale of an Inkling (or Octoling) exploring the wastelands to uncover the dark history of the world they live in.

10) Punch-Out!!


If the Rocky and Creed franchise is anything to go off on, it’s that there’s plenty to love in a good boxing film. Enter Punch-Out!!, which chronicles the rise of Little Mac from aspiring boxer to world champion. The larger-than-life characters and colourful absurdity will help bring some added flair to the well-worn formula. Better yet, bring on noted anime fan and Creed star Michael B. Jordan to direct and/or produce, to really give it that extra emotionally-charged oomph.

What’s more, Donkey Kong from The Super Mario Bros. Movie could even make a cameo, just like in the Wii game.

Nintendo has a wealth of characters and franchises that would make for incredible movies. From epic adventures to heartwarming tales, there’s something for everyone in the Nintendo universe. Here’s hoping that we’ll see some of these movies become a reality in the future.