Nintendo and Sony may be competitors when it comes to making video games, but Sony has many other business ventures, including making movies. In that area, it looks like the two companies may form an unlikely alliance. Sony has been the target of several recent hacks, and a plethora of sensitive and secretive emails have been leaked in recent weeks. According to a series of leaked emails between Sony executives (dating from February to October of this year), ex-Marvel producer Avi Arad is in talks to produce an animated Mario movie for Sony Pictures.
According to an email dating back to February, Avi Arad met with Nintendo executives who he had been “courting for years.” On July 14, Arad emailed Sony studio chief Amy Pascal saying, “I am heading to Tokyo … I am going to try and bring back a little plumber. I guess we can all use our pipes cleaned.” Arad would email Pascal again on October 23 to say “I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic].” This email apparently contained pictures of Arad with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata, but these were not provided for the general public.
No one else is confirmed to be attached to the film. Pascal wrote in one email that Genndy Tartakovsk (creator of Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars) would be a perfect fit.
In these leaks, no emails were found where anyone at Sony Pictures expressed concern that a Mario license might affect the performance of Sony Computer Entertainment. In fact, the president of production at Sony Pictures Animation, Michelle Kouyate, says to Pascal, “I can think of 3–4 movies right out of the gate on this. So huge!” Kouyate also sent an email to Arad himself, exclaiming, “Let’s build a Mario empire!“
The initial source for these leaks is BuzzFeed, which would cause us to discard them under normal circumstances. However, Buzzfeed has been at the forefront of these Sony leaks, and all of their recent reports on the subject have proven to be true, with top Sony executives (including Pascal) publicly confirming the legitimacy of them and apologizing for some of the remarks she made in the leaked emails. Sony and Nintendo have not yet officially commented on this particular series of emails, but Avi Arad has issued a statement saying that, while the deal is not closed, he
is in negotiations with Nintendo.