Nintendo is reportedly in talks with Universal Studios to create an animated film starring everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, Mario.
The company will be working with Illumination Entertainment, the Universal-affiliated studio behind the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films. According to the report by the Wall Street Journal, the studio has been in discussions with the studio for a year, and the movie is in the early stages of production.
This is likely an extension of Nintendo’s existing collaboration with Universal Studios, which will eventually result in Mario appearing in a Japanese theme park by 2020. It wouldn’t surprise me if the film came out at roughly the same time as Mario made his park-side debut.
Hopefully this film turns out better than the 1993 live-action Mario film now (in)famous for its cheesiness, which time has softened into a kind of ironic cultural touchstone for gamers.
I’d caution against getting too prematurely excited: WSJ also reported on a potential “Legend of Zelda” Netflix series in 2015. The late Satoru Iwata himself later refuted that report, telling Time the article was “not based on correct information.” So it’s possible this will all come to naught.
Still, there are signs which bode well: Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima is on record as early as last year stating the company had its eyes on filmmaking.
We’ve reached out to Nintendo of America, and were told, “We have nothing to announce on this topic.”