It’s a me, Mario! Jumping to the big screen.
Mario might be headed back to the big screen, this time with the guidance of Minions studio, Illumination. Wall Street Journal reports that Universal Corp’s Illumination Entertainment and Nintendo Co. are in the process of closing a deal for a Super Mario Bros. animated film. The movie would be based on the widely successful game franchise that has inspired countless spinoffs in the 32-years since Mario’s arrival.
The one sticking point of the entire deal depends on how much creative input Nintendo will retain in the project. They want to make sure they are involved in the creative process regarding one of the most popular characters’ in the world. Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has been part of the talks and will probably be a producer on the movie, along with Chris Meledandri, the CEO of Illumination Entertainment.
This isn’t the first time Mario made it to the big screen. In 1993, there was a live-action Super Mario Bros. film starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. That movie was quite the disaster with its tone all over the place and its attempts to make a live-action Bowser and Yoshi. Needless to say, it is an extremely relevant reason why we haven’t gotten other feature film projects from Nintendo.
Mario is more popular than ever these days. Nintendo just released the first Super Mario game for their hot Nintendo Switch console. That game, Super Mario Odyssey, has been the highest rated game on Metacritic this year. Not only is his face on countless Nintendo properties, he has also been used to promote Japan’s Olympic Games showcasing that he is not only the face of Nintendo but perhaps all of Japan.
This would be a big get for Illumination Entertainment. Even though it has multiple successes with Despicable Me 3, Minions, Sing, and Secret Life of Pets, to have the license to make movies of one of the most popular characters in the world can only be a success. If the deal gets done expect the first animated Mario film in a few years time.