Nintendo has a big animated film on the way: a Super Mario movie coming from the Minion-makers at Illumination. And now it looks like that’s going to be just the beginning. While the details remain vague, there’s plenty of talk within the company about developing other feature animated films to follow Mario. Nintendo has been notoriously stand-offish about adapting its titles into films ever since the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie tanked at the box office. But it looks like that’s changing, albeit slowly.
Sometime next year, everyone’s favorite Italian plumber is returning to the big screen with an animated Super Mario movie. The film is being produced by Illumination, the studio responsible for the Minions movies, which is enough to immediately give me pause. But maybe things will turn out fine! Nintendo sure hopes so, because they’d like to keep this animated movie idea going.
Speaking with Fast Company, Nintendo’s global president Shuntaro Furukawa said: “Animation, in general, is something that we are looking into, and not just this franchise.” However, Nintendo still intends to be picky about what they’re producing. “Although the ways we are expanding our IP are increasing, we are very, very careful about where and how our IP is licensed,” Furukawa added. “We are not deploying our characters and worlds merely to increase public exposure.”
Nintendo has been apprehensive about adapting their titles into films in the wake of the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993. That film was a notorious box office and critical disappointment, and Nintendo doesn’t want another one of those on their hands. However, as the Fast Company article adds, “around a decade ago, Furukawa says, the company decided to get serious about maximizing the creativity, quality, and overall Nintendo-ness of its presence outside gaming.”
Furukawa added that any project adapted from one of their games “must make sure that the results are true to the players’ experiences, and that they would never prevent Nintendo’s developers from making another unique game featuring the same characters.”
For now, Nintendo seems to be moving cautiously. The Super Mario movie remains shrouded in secrecy – there’s no official release date yet, we don’t know the plot, we don’t even know who is voicing the characters. All we can say for now is that the film will open sometime in 2022. If it’s a big hit, you can expect Nintendo to move forward with more titles. If it’s not, well…let’s let them worry about that when and if it happens.
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