Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me animated films, is working on a new Super Mario Bros. movie.
Before you start getting flashbacks of the 1993 disaster that was the Super Mario Bros. movie (I still have nightmares about it), it’s important to note that the animation company is doing a few things differently this time around.
Illumination boss Chris Meledandri set out his plans for the new movie during an interview with Variety. Firstly, he mentioned that the film will more than likely be an animated feature rather than a live-action one, which makes a lot of sense.
He also confirmed that the studio will be heavily involving the series’ creator Miyamoto and will be keeping him front and centre during development. Meledandri believes that not doing this during the production of the 1993 film was part of the reason why it failed and, more importantly, didn’t resonate with fans of the franchise.
“We are keeping [Miyamoto] front and centre in the creation of this film,” he said. “I’ve rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto. There’s a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I’ve made that mistake before.”
Meledandri did, however, admit that there were a few challenges that they would face, commenting on how it will be an ambitious task trying to find a balance between finding depth in the source material without alienating fans.
“It’s an ambitious task,” he said. “The challenge is taking things that are so thin in their original form and finding depth that doesn’t compromise what generations of fans love about Mario, but also feels organic to the iconography and can support a three-act structure.”
Nintendo seems to be on a path of expanding its the reach of its franchises. They are not only working to bringing their blue and red-clad plumber to the big screen but also reportedly working on a Legend of Zelda TV series.
Meledandri also mentioned that the Super Mario Bros. film could be hitting theatres by 2022, which should give them enough time to do this right (please do this right).