Illumination Plans Animated “Super Mario” Film

Universal Pictures and animation powerhouse Illumination Entertainment are in the final stages of an agreement with Nintendo which will see the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” creators produce a Super Mario Bros. animated movie.

Negotiations between Nintendo and Illumination have gone on for more than a year, and coincides with a deal struck last year for Universal theme parks to build attractions based on the Mario Bros. property.

Creator Shigeru Miyamoto is expected to be a producer on the film and have a say in the creative development, alongside Illumination’s CEO Chris Meledandri. The film is still in the early stages of planning and won’t be ready for several years.

The games, revolving around plumbers Mario and Luigi in a fantasy world of evil turtles and mushrooms, is the best-selling videogame franchise of all-time with over 330 million units sold. The failure of a 1993 live-action film based on the property is a big reason why Nintendo hasn’t been keen to license their properties for films.

Source: The Wall Street Journal