posted on by Alex Mateo
President of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa told Fast Company in an interview posted on Thursday that Nintendo is looking into more animated works beyond Illumination’s animated film adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. game franchise. Furukawa stated that “Animation, in general, is something that we are looking into, and not just this [Mario] franchise.”
Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. movie will open in theaters in 2022.
Illumination founder Chris Meledandri told entertainment news source Variety in November 2018 that the film was in “priority development” for a possible theatrical debut by 2022. Meledandri is co-producing the film with Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto. Meledandri stated that Miyamoto is “front and center in the creation of this film” and noted that the “original creative voice” is often absent from Hollywood film adaptations.
Nintendo announced in February 2018 that Universal Studios‘ subsidiary Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing) had begun planning the animated film. Both Nintendo and Universal Pictures are funding the project, and Universal Pictures will distribute the film worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter both reported in November 2017 that Illumination Entertainment was “close to an agreement” with Nintendo to produce an animated film based on Super Mario Bros., with talks reportedly ongoing for more than a year. At the time of the report, a person with knowledge of the discussions said that the possible agreement could allow Illumination Entertainment to make multiple films based on the franchise, but only one film is currently planned. The report also noted at the time that Illumination Entertainment’s Mac Guff studio in Paris would animate the film, and that it was in the early stages of development.
The Buzzfeed website reported in 2014 that Nintendo was in talks with Sony Pictures for film rights to the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The live-action Ghost in the Shell film’s producer Avi Arad was linked to the production.