On February 1st, Nintendo announced to the world that a new animated movie featuring Mario was being developed in partnership with Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Sing, The Lorax). Better to strike while the iron’s hot, or in this case, while Nintendo hype is at maximum. The question of which chess piece Shigeru Miyamoto and his team move next has become increasingly surrounded by an aura of surprise; from Mario Tennis Aces to the Labo and Mario Kart Tour reveal, the pattern appears almost random.
But Nintendo isn’t just pulling rabbids out of its cap in a helter-skelter dash for attention. Slowly but surely, every single base is being covered: Mobile, 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and now, the silver screen. Perhaps Zelda for PC isn’t a pipe dream after all.
While the original film (Super Mario Bros.) tanked at the box office in 1993, Miyamoto seems keen on giving things a second shot. This time, it’s with the guiding hand of Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination. An animation could indeed prove to be a more successful venture than risking a second live action film, especially when you factor in the enduring attitude towards video game to film adaptations. Miyamoto said he feels Meledandri possesses a similar creative approach, which could work well for the Mario film:
“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.”
Miyamoto also mentioned he’d been thinking about making an animated film for quite a while. However, there were key differences between games and non-interactive media holding him back, and this inspired the collaboration with Illumination. Miyamoto felt it was important to let “a film expert to do the work”.