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.