According to the Wall Street Journal, Shigeru Miyamoto, the esteemed creator of Mario, is close to striking a deal with Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions, to create a Super Mario animated film.
Negotiations have apparently been going on for over a year. Illumination Entertainment is owned by Universal, which has already partnered with Nintendo to create several theme parks, so there is a precedent for this film being made. No other announcements have been made regarding this project, but it does open the floodgates for other media productions based on classic Nintendo franchises.
The last film Nintendo officially endorsed was the infamous 1993 Super Mario Bros. film starring Bob Hoskins. It was such a disaster that the company became much more protective of its characters and licenses. Hopefully, the decision to make this upcoming movie an animated adaptation will help keep it closer to the source material.
Since the 1993 movie, Mario has continued to grow in popularity. His most recent title hit store shelve in late October. Super Mario Odessey is a fantastic game and carries on the Super Mario tradition of impeccably designed platforming levels and innovative gameplay additions.
The animated film will likely revolve around Bowser’s capture of Princess Peach and Mario and gangs subsequent whacky adventure as they race to save her, but maybe Illumination will buck convention and deliver something unexpected. Nintendo has branched out a lot in recent years, starting with Amiibo and then the Nintendo Switch. They have begun to take more risks, establishing new partnerships and handing over some of their biggest characters to other studios, as they did with Ubisoft and Mario x Rabbids: Battle Kingdom.
There is still no official statement from Nintendo regarding the existence of this film deal or plans to make a Super Mario movie, but given the information currently at our disposal, it does seem likely. Stay tuned to The Nerd Stash for more information as this story continues to develop.