The Nintendo Cinematic Universe looks like it's chasing the MCU’s success

The Nintendo Cinematic Universe looks like it's chasing the MCU’s success
Images via Disney | Universal Pictures

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

14th May 2024 11:30

Nintendo icons, assemble. That seems to be the motto over at Universal Pictures, with the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie already having us looking at a much wider world of IPs. We know another Mario movie is on the way, but with rumours it's not a straight-up sequel, consider our interest piqued. 

While the 2023 record-breaker clearly set the scene for the likes of a Donkey Kong or Luigi's Mansion spin-off, Illumination Pictures could be looking even further ahead. The movie was packed with a treasure trove of Easter eggs, giving the nod to everyone from Sonic to Star Fox.

Chris Pratt teases the Mario Cinematic Universe

Mario movie karting scene
Click to enlarge
Image via Universal Pictures

Speaking to Screen Rant, Mario himself has teased grand plans for a much bigger cinematic universe. Looking to the future of the franchise, Chris Pratt explained how an interconnected slate of movies could be just around the corner.

"Oh, man! There's so much to explore," gushed Pratt. "There are decades worth of [games] to explore, not only with Mario and Peach and Donkey Kong and Luigi and Bowser and Yoshi; that was teased at the end. But it just gets me so excited."

Saying he was "such a Nintendo head growing up," Pratt continued, "Just thinking about how everything from Legend of Zelda to the entire Nintendo cinematic universe could be created and what that could look like for all of these characters that I love? I mean, there's really no limit. We could talk about it for hours."

Of course, we can't help but think of Disney's success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jon Favreau's Iron Man birthed the world's highest-grossing franchise thanks to a simple cameo from Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, spawning out into Thor, Hulk, and Captain America standalone and uniting for 2012's The Avengers

It's Sonic vs Mario

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie tease
Click to enlarge
Image via Paramount Pictures

Elsewhere, we see Paramount's Sonic franchise making similar waves. The live-action nature of the Sonic movies suggests we won't get a crossover with Mario, however, both franchises sound like they're working toward a similar goal. With Sonic 3 out in 2024, we're already told it's building toward Avengers-level events

As the first two Sonic movies have been box office smashes, and the Knuckles TV series also earned rave reviews, it's on the right track. The question is, how long until the bubble bursts? Franchise fatigue is in full effect, and even the once unshakeable MCU is having to dial back its projects in favour of quality over quantity.

It's no secret that Phase 5 of the MCU has delivered some clangers, and aside from the critical panning of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantuamnia, Secret Invasion reportedly cost an eye-watering $211.6 million, and The Marvels was unfairly panned for being 'woke.' 

The MCU reigned supreme as the king of the franchises for a long time, and while there's still confidence it can rise from the ashes with the likes of Deadpool & Wolverine and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, the jury is out. Mario is off to a strong start, but if Nintendo can't even give us a new F-Zero game, do we really need an F-Zero movie? 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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