Mario creator reveals why Nintendo & Illumination are teaming for new movie

Mario is by far the most iconic video game character in the world, but he hasn’t had the best luck at the movies. The last live-action adaptation – SUPER MARIO BROS. – is a staple of bad movie nights, thus staining any future attempts at another major movie. But Nintendo and Illumination are teaming up for a new animated movie starring the jumping plumber, and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto recently talked about why the animation house was perfect to bring the movie to life.

Miyamoto spoke with a group of analysists during a Nintendo meeting recently (translation via Rolling Stone) where he said that he had been wanting to do an animated Mario movie for some time. Nintendo and Universal are partnering for a series of Mario theme park attractions, and it was through that Miyamoto was able to meet Illumination's Chris Meledandri and discover they have a shared creative process.

 As a producer, Chris Meledandri (Illumination's CEO) is noted here for movies like Minions and Sing, but he is a veteran with a ton of experience, including the movie Ice Age and stints at companies like 20th Century Fox Animation. When I talked with Chris, he said he had read a lot of interviews with me and felt we had a similar approach to creation. Talking about our similarities, we clicked and decided maybe we should do some kind of collaboration. We started our conversation over two years ago, and finally reached the stage where we could make an announcement. Chris is extremely cost-conscious and time-conscious in his quest to make successful movies. We decided to try making a movie together, and distributing the completed movie globally through Universal Pictures.

Though they have been talking for about two years, Miyamoto didn’t want to announce anything until he felt comfortable with the direction they were heading. Even if they seem to be in a good creative space now, the video game legend still admits that if they can’t come up with an interesting angle then the movie will be put back on the shelf.

We've talked together and share the feeling that if we can't make something interesting we'll just call it quits. But we've already met a number of times to hash out the screenplay, our talks together are progressing, and I hope to make an announcement once we've ironed out some things like the schedule.

Should the movie come to fruition and make it to theaters, the sheer global power of Universal could ensure that the Mario movie will be a massive earner. The last few Illumination movies have done gangbusters business worldwide, with MINIONS and DESPICABLE ME 3 cracking one billion dollars at the global box office, with SECRET LIFE OF PETS not far behind. With all that money Mario can afford to add on another extension to Peach's castle, and can perhaps give up his plumbing job for good. 

The latest Mario game, "Super Mario Odyssey" is in stores now, and Illumination's THE GRINCH is set for November 9.

Source: Rolling Stone



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