There is nothing new under the Hollywood sun, as evidenced by the release of 40 feature films based on video games since “Super Mario Bros.” started the risk-avoidance trend in 1993.
At least two “Super Mario Bros.” remakes have been filmed since the unoriginal original, and “Mortal Kombat 3” is scheduled for release later this month.
In a similar vein, more than 30 movies have been produced based on characters from DC Comics, which, not coincidentally, is now a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Popular toys have also been the muse of movie producers, who have brought at least two dozen former birthday presents, ranging from American Girl dolls to Garbage Pail Kids, to life on the nation’s cineplex screens. So far, five movies have been made about Transformers alone, and a fourth movie inspired by the G.I. Joe “action figure” (aka: doll for boys) is scheduled for release in July.
Meanwhile, a fifth movie in the Indiana Jones series has been greenlighted, and “Mission Impossible 7” is on track for release next year.
Last week, it came to light that the cinematic rights to the popular marshmallow confection Peeps had been bought, and a movie based on the ubiquitous Easter basket stuffer was expected to go into production next year.
It might be the first movie based on a real candy found in stores everywhere, unlike 1971’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” or 1977’s “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” which, despite its name, was not about candy.
Jimmy Kimmel talked about the Peeps movie during a monologue on Wednesday, at the end of which he speculated about possible spin-offs if the show turns out to be a hit, including “Peeping With the Enemy,” “Peeping Beauty,” “Peep Throat” and “Peep-less in Seattle.”
To Kimmel’s list I would add “The Peeps vs. Larry Flynt,” “Ordinary Peeps” and “The Big Peep.”
The story line for the movie involves a rag-tag group of Peeps characters setting off on a journey to Peepfest, a festival celebrating the confection held annually in Pennsylvania, the state where 2 billion Peeps are manufactured each year.
I hope the trend of basing movies on popular culture mainstays fades away faster than Peeps do. I cringe at the thought of movie storylines involving, say, advertising mascots like the Aflac duck, Energizer Bunny or the Charmin’ “Enjoy the Go” bears.
Meanwhile, I hope the marshmallow baby chickens inspire a sweet movie, but I have my doubts.
It would be a shame if it turns out to be a turkey.