Nintendo And Illumination Working On Animated Mario Movie

mario movie
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

A Super Mario movie is no longer a rumor as its existence has now been confirmed by Nintendo itself. On Wednesday, the Japanese company confirmed that it is working on an animated Mario movie with Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind movies like Despicable Me and Minions.

Mario movie – what do we know so far?

“Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri!” Nintendo of America tweeted.

Not many details are available on the Mario movie. However, we do know that it is being co-produced by Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Chris Meledandri, owner of Illumination Entertainment. Further, Universal Pictures and Nintendo will co-finance the film, which will be distributed theatrically worldwide by Universal Pictures. In November, The Wall Street Journal first reported about a possible deal between Nintendo and Illumination.

As of now, there is no information on the release date of the movie. On Thursday, however, Miyamoto told reporters that the script for the movie is mostly finished, and promises a “fun” movie, according to CBS News.

Talking about how making a movie is different than making games, Miyamoto said, “Creating in an interactive medium is totally different from doing that in a passive medium.” Further, he said that he has long been wanting to make such a movie. “We want to make something great,” the Mario creator said.

Will it be a hit?

The announcement of a new Mario movie might have reminded many of the 1993’s live-action Super Mario Bros. The movie, which starred Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper, failed at the box office.

Movies based on the video game have had a mixed response at the box office, according to Variety.  Three video game movies were released in 2016 – New Regency’s live-action Assassin’s Creed; Sony’s animated Angry Bird; and Legendary’s live-action Warcraft.  Angry Birds performed well, and now its sequel is in the works for a 2019 release, while Warcraft performed well in China.

Nevertheless, the announcement for this new Mario movie comes at the right time as Mario fever is at an all-time high. The Super Mario Odyssey, which made its debut in October, has already sold over 9 million copies.

Making new money from old characters

Nintendo lately has been working on its strategy of leveraging its popular titles beyond traditional video games. Now, with a Mario movie, Nintendo wants to continue its plan to make more revenue from its most popular character.

“With this project, Nintendo will pursue its goals of effectively leveraging its intellectual properties in mediums outside of video games, and of bringing smiles to people around the world,” the company said in a press release.

Nintendo has already introduced Mario to the world of mobile gaming. Further, Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart are among the top-selling games on Nintendo’s wildly popular Switch console. In 2016, the company licensed its Pokémon characters to Niantic for the game Pokémon Go.

Nintendo also has a deal with Universal for opening Nintendo-themed land in three Universal Studios theme parks.  The first park, which is expected to be operational by the 2020 Olympic Games, will open at Universal Studios Osaka.