It’s a shame that the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie was such a box office disaster in that it scared Nintendo away from Hollywood for 24 years, because when you remove the Mario Bros aspect from it, it’s really not a bad 90’s sci-fi action comedy b-movie. However, it seems the wound is finally healing as Nintendo is apparently close to signing a deal on a potential Super Mario Bros movie.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “people with knowledge of the discussions” claimed that, “Illumination Entertainment, which makes animated films for Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, is close to an agreement with Nintendo Co. to make an animated Super Mario Bros. movie.”
According to “one person close to the talks,” the largest issue in the negotiations has been making Nintendo feel confident that it will be involved in the creative process. “This person” added that Shigeru Miyamoto has been part of the talks and will likely be a producer on the movie along with Mr. Meledandri.
The agreement could allow Illumination to make multiple Super Mario Bros. movies, though only one is currently planned. It would be animated by Illumination’s Paris studio Mac Guff and is in the early stages of development, meaning it likely wouldn’t come out for several years.
As was pointed out by Kotaku, it’s worth taking this news with a grain of salt, as Ben Fritz—who co-wrote the WSJ story—also reported that Netflix was in early production on a series based on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda, which never happened.
While it’s exciting to think video games’ most iconic character will be treated to a proper animated film, allowing the magic and fun of his world to be portrayed properly, one has to lament that this went to the Minions people instead of a studio like Disney Pixar.
I heard Secret Life of Pets was pretty good, so who knows?