Well. This is one of the weirdest things we've heard in a long time.
If you've missed it, Sony Pictures - the company's movie studio business - was recently hacked. The contents of what was obtained from the breach are still being sifted through, but according to a report on Buzzfeed, there's a secret business deal in there that's very interesting.
"I am the proud father of mario the animated film [sic]," producer Avi Arad told Sony studio chief Amy Pascal in an email dated Oct. 23, 2014, with the subject line "Mario." Arad then forwarded Pascal separate images of him with Mario Bros.creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, the latter of which included the message, "Happy ceo, lets get together, it's the mother load. [sic]"
The film, which the emails say will be animated, is only in the very earliest stages of production, with no personnel currently attached (though there are daydreams that Samurai Jack's Genndy Tartakovsky might be tempted).
If the absurdity of this needs to be pointed out, Sony Pictures is part of Sony, the same company that makes the PlayStation, and which also developers a ton of its own video games. Yet the Buzzfeed report says they "could not find any emails in which anyone at Sony Pictures expressed concern about any conflicts with their video game corporate cousin Sony Computer Entertainment, which is a direct competitor with Nintendo."
Before you go bananas, remember: just because Sony has the rights to this (the wording of the report makes it sound like Arad picked up the rights himself then brought them to studios) doesn't mean it'll get made. Most video game movies - hell, most movies - never make it from the handshake to the silver screen.
If this somehow did get anywhere though, it won't be the first animated Mario movie. While most folks only remember the live-action disaster, a Japanese animated film was made in the 80s that...wasn't bad.
In related news, Sega is also looking (via Polygon) to flesh out a number of its bigger franchises, hoping to turn stuff like Golden Axe, Shinobi, Virtua Fighter, Crazy Taxi and Altered Beast into movies and TV series.