Nintendo’s most iconic Italian plumber is returning for another round at the big screen soon.
The Super Mario series has had a rough outing at the box office, with the infamous 1993 Super Mario forcing Nintendo with lending its IP’s to other companies for many years after the movie released. Thankfully, with games like Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, it shows that Nintendo is finally trusting other companies with their intellectual properties.
Universal’s Illumination Studio, which is most known for their work on the Minion series, is producing a new Super Mario movie, which at the moment is still in early planning according to Mac Guff from Illumination Paris.
In a recent post by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Guff opened up about establishing the trust with the Japanese company and the Western Illumination. Also expressed was the film progression, mentioned it would take ‘several years’, as any filming still hasn’t begun as of now.
Illumination, which made “Despicable Me,” “Minions” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” has been talking to Nintendo for more than a year about the movie, according to the people who know about the recent talks. The potential deal follows an agreement Universal’s theme-parks unit made with Nintendo two years ago to build attractions based on Mario and other characters.
A Nintendo spokesman declined to comment, as did an Illumination spokeswoman.
Universal finances and releases films produced by Illumination, which it co-owns with the animation company’s chief executive, Chris Meledandri.
Nintendo hasn’t made deals for movies or TV shows based on any of its marquee characters since 1993’s commercially and critically disastrous “Super Mario Brothers” starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. Since then, its only cinematic efforts have been 20 inexpensive children’s animated movies based on its “Pokémon” games that were produced by an affiliate.
The most complicated issue in the negotiations between Illumination and Nintendo has been making the Japanese videogame company feel confident it will be involved enough in the creative process, said one person close to the talks. Nintendo’s creative guru, Shigeru Miyamoto, who created Mario Bros., has been part of the talks and likely will be a producer on the movie, along with Mr. Meledandri, this person said.
The agreement could allow Illumination to make multiple “Super Mario” movies, though only one is currently planned, this person added. 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.