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Nintendo is making a Mario Movie

Feb 02, 2018 | Blog

The company has revealed that it will be making a Mario movie. The studio it’s partnering with is Illumination Films, the company behind the “Despicable Me” series and its wildly successful “Minions” spin-off. The Japanese gaming company is trying to use its popular titles to make more money outside of traditional video games. And as the company’s most well-known character, Mario is its go-to guy for building new businesses. However, on Nintendo’s Twitter official page, it was specifically said its “a movie starring Mario”, not “a Mario movie” so it’s possible that this will be something totally disconnected from the proper Mario canon- which is absolutely the sort of weirdly protective thing Nintendo would do. But Mario’s previous Hollywood venture didn’t go so well.

The 1993 live action movie “Super Mario Bros.”, starting Bob Hoskins as Mario, and John Leguizamo as his brother Luigi, was a disaster at the box office. Critics panned it at the time, but it has since gained a cult following despite its dismal 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This time around, a Super Mario film will be tapping into Hollywood’s appetite for reliable franchises like “Star Wars” and “Happy Potter”. The new project will be led by CEO of Illumination, Chris Meledandri and Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the Super Mario brothers. Fans will have to wait for more details, thought. Nintendo and Illumination didn’t say when the film is scheduled to be released or who might provide the voices for key characters.

Video game movies have a mixed record in Hollywood. Three were released in 2016 — Sony’s animated “Angry Birds”; Legendry’s live-action “Warcraft,” which performed well in China; and New Regency’s live-action “Assassin’s Creed.” “Angry Birds” turned in a decent performance with a sequel in the works for 2019.