Those old enough to remember the 1993 live action take on Super Mario Bros – starring the late Bob Hoskins – will be more than aware that transitioning video games into movies has never been easy. In fact, some of the results have been downright horrendous. The Mario movie from back in the day has somewhat morphed into a cult classic in recent years, though it remains to be said that Nintendo has shied away from sharing some of its bigger properties with the small and big screens for a while. The Pokémon anime continues to rattle out episode after episode – but it really has been a while since we’ve seen the plucky red plumber that epitomises Nintendo’s brand anywhere other than in the world of games. This, arguably, should stay the case – but for others, it’s high time Mario and Luigi returned to a different form of entertainment.
Rumors regarding a Mario animated movie have been circulating for quite some time – and while nothing solid appeared to be on the cards for a while, it appears that Illumination Studios may be the ones to take the franchise to an even wider audience. Illumination are, of course, most famous for bringing us Despicable Me, the Minions and The Secret Life of Pets – and it seems that they’ve got their sights on a potential deal with the Japanese firm to transform Mario and co into animated movie superstars. Could such a partnership work?
There’s no official deals going down as yet, but it’s thought that both Illumination and Nintendo have been in talks for considerable time ▶ in an effort to get blueprints for such a project down physically. There’s certainly vested interest on both sides – Illumination is emerging as one of the leading animated movie studios on the planet with a string of huge hits (and with Minions becoming the most successful theatrical animated movie of all time at its peak) – and Nintendo are coasting on what has been an incredible year for their new console, the Switch, and for games such as Zelda : Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, both of which sit pretty as Metacritic’s highest-rated games of 2017 thus far.
Is the possibility of Mario meeting the Minions on the cards? What could Illumination do with the Mushroom Kingdom and almost forty years of lore? Let’s wait and see!