The soon-to-be 17-year-old pop star Justin Bieber flat-out did not exist yet when Nintendo unleashed their NES gaming console on the world back in the ’80s, but that age gap isn’t going to stop him from using the “Super Mario Bros.” theme in his upcoming 3-D concert movie/life documentary “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.” No, what’s going to stop Bieber from using a 15-second snippet of the insanely catch NES standard’s theme music in the movie is Nintendo itself.
For starters, it ought to be said that there’s precedent for having licensed Nintendo music in your movie. Edgar Wright pulled it off, with no less a game than “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” in last year’s amazing-but-horribly underseen comic book adaptation, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.”
Beyond that… look. I’m going to be the guy who says it. There will be others. There probably have been already. But I’ll say it too. Bieber is a huge presence in pop culture today, no question. But he’s no Nintendo. So I’m not sure that the publisher passing up on “free advertising” is much of a big deal.
We’re still talking about the NES and the gaming devices that followed it today, and we’ll be doing the same thing 20 years from now, only the Wii, DS and 3DS and who knows what else will also be involved in the conversation. I can’t say where Mr. Bieber will be 20 years from now, but I can predict with a fair amount of certainty that he won’t have been at the forefront of a musical revolution.
Prove me wrong, Beeb. Prove me wrong.