Nintendo is about to sign off on an animated Super Mario Bros. movie

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Nintendo’s most iconic intellectual property could be returning to the big screen. This time around, it’ll be as an animated movie rather than a live-action film.

The Japanese gaming giant is reportedly holding talks with Universal Pictures and its animation studio, Illumination Entertainment, with regard to producing an animated Super Mario Bros. flick. Insiders tell The Wall Street Journal that the parties have been negotiating for more than a year and are finally close to reaching an agreement. Nothing has been finalized but things are looking good at this point.

With any luck, the production will fare better than Nintendo’s first Mario movie.

The original Super Mario Bros. film starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo debuted in mid-1993 and was a commercial flop. It told the classic Koopa-kidnaps-princess story but in a live-action manner. Critics had issues with the film’s dialogue, characters and storyline. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 15 percent from critics.

Illumination Entertainment is a well-respected studio that’s best known for creating the Despicable Me franchise and its spin-off, Minions.

Nintendo legend and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto will reportedly be a producer on the project and have direct input in its development.

Nintendo partnered with Universal a few years back on the creation of a Nintendo theme park. The two broke ground on Super Nintendo World in June with the park set to open in Japan by 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
It is interesting watching how all of this is coming together. Mario was part of the announcement for the 2020 Olympics and the Mario park is set to open in time for it. That is not too surprising, but what I am curious about is the deal with the movie. Was it Nintendo wanting a park and a movie or did Nintendo want a park and Universal added the movie as a stipulation?
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
More importantly, what new Mario game will it coincide with on release? And I assume the short film, Duck Hunt: The Movie comes out with it :)
 
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amstech

IT Overlord
Not getting on your case Shawn, but I love how Rotten Tomatoes has become the main reference for movies. While its more of a reflection of this generations interests then it is a neutral place for reviews, it really has shaken up Hollywood.
So much so that, RT is not allowed to show the score for Justice League until a certain time/date before launch. Apparently WB owns some portion of RT (something like that) and they are forcing the site to withhold reviews.
 
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Reehahs

TS Evangelist
Not getting on your case Shawn, but I love how Rotten Tomatoes has become the main reference for movies. While its more of a reflection of this generations interests then it is a neutral place for reviews, it really has shaken up Hollywood.
So much so that, RT is not allowed to show the score for Justice League until a certain time/date before launch. Apparently WB owns some portion of RT (something like that) and they are forcing the site to withhold reviews.
I think it would be fair for reviews to be held until after the opening week to give bad movies a fair chance.