Nintendo is teaming up with Minions creators Illumination Entertainment to develop a new animated movie based on the Super Mario Bros games. While there are no details on writers, a director, or a release date, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto will produce the new film alongside Illumination boss Chris Meledandri.
The last time those Super Mario Brothers were on the big screen was (shockingly) 25 years ago with the live-action movie that starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the famed Italian plumbers. The widely panned Super Mario Bros Movie was a massive box office flop, and it gave Nintendo cold feet about turning any more of their beloved characters into motion pictures. So, if you wondered why Link or Donkey Kong The Movie were never a thing, now you know. To be fair, the live-action movie was fundamentally awful on every possible level.
Thanks to success such as Minions, Sing, The Secret Life of Pets and the Despicable Me trilogy, Illumination has established itself as a major player in the animated world. Unlike Disney animated offerings that regularly cost upwards of $150 million, Illumination's most expensive production to date was $80 million of the recent Despicable Me 3. I'm not suggesting that Illumination releases are as elegantly made as the likes of Finding Dory, or Coco, but purely on a box office comparison, there's not much difference.
We might not have to wait for the new movie before we get to see Mario on the big screen. The forthcoming Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is rumored to feature a brief appearance by Mario, but we'll have to wait until November 21st to find out.