Nintendo, Illumination In Talks To Make Animated Mario Flick

The dozens of Super Mario Brothers games and their spin-offs are widely believed to be the best-selling videogame franchise ever having sold more than 330 million units total according to Nintendo

A New Super Mario Movie Could Happen As Nintendo Nears Deal With Minions Studio - Report

Nintendo's most popular video game franchise is about to hit the big screen in a big way, according to sources, marking the return of Mario to the world of feature films.

Illumination Entertainment is reportedly in talks with Nintendo to make a new film based around the two Italian plumbers Mario and Luigi, who became global icons following the launch of their own series on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Back in 1993, the video game was adapted into a live-action movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

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"Nintendo's marquee characters have always been tempting to Hollywood, particularly now that the movie business is driven by globally popular franchise films featuring well known brands like Marvel superheroes, Fast and Furious and Harry Potter". Notably, Universal previously got a deal to create theme park segments revolving around Nintendo's Mario properties. But back in 1993, too, many assumed that a live-action "Mario" was a sure thing, before it arrived in theaters and slammed audiences with such crushing disappointment that it failed to make back even half of its budget at the US box office. How it will perform is uncertain given the relative failure of many video game-based movies...both animated and live action. "Angry Birds turned in a decent performance with a sequel in the works for 2019", observes Dave McNary for Variety. "Meanwhile, the timing also seems to be right, with Mario fever in full swing; the mobile release Super Mario Run has been downloaded more than 200 million times, while Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch came out last month to rave reviews", Andrew Webster writes for The Verge.

Nintendo's trepidation with a new Super Mario movie stems from the company's desire to control almost all aspects of the film.

Although the deal isn't yet done, the WSJ (via Eurogamer) claims that it is close and there's little reason to think it won't be finalized. An anime feature, Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!

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