Nintendo and Illumination are close to signing a deal on an animated Super Mario Bros. movie that will see the iconic video game character return to the big screen.
Is this good or bad news? I’m not really sure. Nintendo has stayed away from Hollywood ever since the awful live-action Super Mario Bros. movie which saw Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo play the brightly coloured plumbers. However, French animated movie studio, Illumination, has seen great success making popular animated movies about brightly coloured characters. They are behind the Despicable Me franchise which spawned the Minions. Kids all over the world love them and adults hate them. I’m somewhere in between. They don’t irk me as much as they do other people, but I also don’t find them to be overly hilarious. That said, if the reports are true, Nintendo could be partnering with them on a Super Mario Bros. movie.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo and Illumination are in talks that could see the Mario Brothers return to the big screen in animated form. The outlet reports that “people with knowledge of the discussions” are claiming that the two companies are close to reaching an agreement. Nintendo has been very reluctant to foray back into the Hollywood scene, which is totally understandable given the fiasco that was the Super Mario Bros. movie. This has led them to say no to potential projects like the much rumoured Legend of Zelda movie. That said, it looks like Nintendo and Illumination are on the same wavelength and Mario and Legend of Zelda creator and video game legend, Shigeru Miyamoto, could end up being a producer on the project.
“The most complicated issue in the negotiations between Illumination and Nintendo has been making the Japanese video game company feel confident it will be involved enough in the creative process, said one person close to the talks. Nintendo’s creative guru, Shigeru Miyamoto, who created Mario Bros., has been part of the talks and likely will be a producer on the movie, along with [Illumination chief executive Chris] Meledandri,” writes the WSJ’s Ben Fritz.
It’s good to see that Nintendo is still cautious about this sort of project. They don’t want their characters to be shown in a less than positive light and they want everything connected to their IP to be up to their very high standards. This is an admirable way to handle their characters which are beloved by people the world over. Nintendo is recording a record year with the Nintendo Switch selling millions and their games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey receiving rave reviews. It looks like it’s going to be a straight race between the two of those games for 2017’s game of the year awards.
A deal hasn’t quite been reached yet so there’s no word on when we’ll get to see this animated Super Mario Bros. movie, but I really do hope it happens. Say what you will about the Minions, Illumination is a very professional studio with a proven track record of producing successful movies.
What do you think about this deal? Let us know in the comments below.