Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa Discusses Expansion Into Film

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With the success of the SEGA video game film adaption of ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ and Midway Games’ action flick ‘Mortal Kombat,’ it should come as no surprise that other game developers would want to get in on the action. This includes Nintendo, known for their worldwide success with the Super Mario Bros. franchise.

Everyone’s favorite Italian Plummer and his allies have been adapted for the screen in both live-action and animated format, but now it seems they are moving forward with more projects.

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Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa sat down with Fast Company to discuss the video game production company’s expansion into film and how it will affect their brand in the coming years.

“Our objective has always remained the same,” he explains. “To connect and entertain more consumers with Nintendo IP, in the hopes that they may become interested in the world of our dedicated video game experiences. By doing this, our goal is to create a connection that transcends a particular game, platform, or console generation.”

Furukawa discussed how Nintendo Senior Managing Director and Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario and Donkey Kong, is working with Illumination animated film company chief Chris Meledandri to make an animated Mario movie.

“It’s not that we’ve asked Illumination to handle everything,” explained Furukawa. “Mr. Miyamoto is very, very hands-on with the production of this movie.”

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When asked if they would continue Nintendo’s expansion into animated films, he replied, “Animation, in general, is something that we are looking into, and not just this franchise.”

Furukawa also assured fans that the emphasis on “side projects” such as animated films will not divert away from video game development.

He explained that distraction is “something we really made sure to avoid was that when being engaged in this IP expansion outside of game development, that we don’t cut into the game development resources on our side.”

Furukawa added, “And to realize that, we made sure that although people who deeply understand the characters and deeply understand the game are involved, that we keep the number of people involved to a minimum.”

Announced in February 2018, the ‘Super Mario’ film has yet to get a release date, cast list, or an announcement trailer.


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