While the Mario series of games has been popular and highly regarded since day one, other adaptations haven’t fared so well. There have been TV shows, cartoons and a live-action 1993 movie, and all of those were met with a rather tepid response.

As many have suspected, it was those mixed-response adaptations that caused Nintendo some considerable trepidation in bringing Mario outside the world of games once again. We’re finally seeing that happen through the Super Mario Bros. movie from Nintendo and Illumination, and in an interview with Variety, Shigeru Miyamoto goes in-depth on Nintendo’s hesitation to return to the silver screen.

“We were fearful of all the failure of past IP adaptations, where there’s a license and a distance between the original creators and the creators of the films. The fans get outraged and mad because the studios didn’t do justice to the original work. We really didn’t want a backlash.

The reason we were so resistant and careful to adapt our games into movies is because in video games there is always a player, who overcomes challenges and fights their way through. Their struggle — redoing the levels over and over — is all part of it.

Just following the plot points of the video games will never work as a movie. Without the involvement of the player, it won’t meet expectations. …we recognized that each fan of the video game has a Mario in themself, as he is the avatar that represents the player.”

[Shigeru Miyamoto]

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