Giving away my age a bit but as a child of the 90s I grew up with Nintendo and Sega so Mario, Pokémon and Sonic were iconic characters I spent a lot of my childhood occupied with. Being a video game fan pretty much since I could hold a controller I like many of you have been burned by the attempts to bring video game characters to life in live action. That hope in my heart for the most part dashed every time with Super Mario Bros being one of if not the biggest disappoint of the adaptations. However there are a couple of exceptions like the Resident Evil which was actually an enjoyable experience and Warcraft which I didn’t mind. Being older and understanding how the entertainment industry works a bit better means the burns are minimal but the hope is still there for the winning formula for live action video game adaptations to be discovered.
There have been a few announcements in this regard but the biggest being for Pokemon:Detective Pikachu. There has already been a full length trailer released with Ryan Reynolds voicing the title character. This being an interesting choice given the numerous games of the franchise and the setting of a Tokyo-esque city with a noir setting, or at least as much as a Pokémon film can allow for. This angle is different than the main series of games that are more well know so the film does have my interest and curiousity to know more. Nintendo doing much better both financially and critically following the release of the Switch last year and the recent Pokemon:Let’s Go games it wasn’t a surprise with delivering Pokémon in another medium but a feature film starring Ryan Reynolds does show Nintendo isn’t being cautious about its properties.
As well as Detective Pikachu there was news about a live action Sonic the Hedgehog film in the works and even an image of the blue speedster. The still revealed of a shadowy Sonic who is much the same in appearance, seemingly average human height and of course has his signature spiky fur and red & white trainers. Little is known beyond that except it being clear he hasn’t missed much leg day. This is an intriguing development since the end of Sega consoles Sonic hasn’t been as popular or prominent especially compared to Mario and Pikachu so perhaps this is part of a surprising resurgence for the character. It seems to be very early in the production process but with progress so far I look forward to details about the character or plot. Given that over the years he has gathered allies and enemies alike and settings all over the world and even in outer space there is a lot of material to take from so no telling what tale will be told. As a fan of Sonic since the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis if you’re from North America) I can only hope he is given justice with the portrayal.
Not to dwell but the live action Super Mario Bros did fall short but the Switch has also brought Mario et al back to popularity with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Super Mario Odyssey. With other games in the franchise such as Super Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released in 2018 it makes sense that with these game releases that a Mario film be in the pipeline. This has been rumoured for a while but seems to be animated as opposed to live action which given what went wrong with the 90s film a lot of that was the character design and appearance. With animation that gives more freedom and less practical restrictions and similar to Sonic, Mario and the others have been on adventures in a lot of different locations and environments so many options to bring to the big screen.
Well that's my take on films adapted from games but any further thoughts leave a comment or tweet me.