Nintendo has been extremely protective of its various IPs when it comes to screen adaptations since the disastrous release of 1993’s Super Mario Bros. live-action movie, so it came as quite the surprise when it was announced that the video game giant is teaming up with Illumination Entertainment to bring Mario back to the big screen with an animated film.
Speaking to Bleeding Cool, Nintendo’s co-Representative Director Shigeru Miyamoto has explained what convinced them to partner up with Illumination Entertainment – the company behind the likes of Despicable Me, Minions and The Secret Life of Pets – and dip their toes back into the movie business once more:
“I’ve been considering an animated film for many years now,” said Miyamoto. “There has long been talk that Nintendo could make a movie because ‘making a game is like making a movie.’ But they are completely different to me. Interactive experiences are completely different from non-interactive media, and to make a movie, I want a film expert to do the work. Thinking that way, I have talked with all sorts of different movie directors and producers, and eventually I was introduced to Illumination via Universal Parks & Resorts, with whom we are developing theme park attractions.”
“As a producer, [Illumination’s CEO] Chris Meledandri is noted here for movies like Minions and Sing, but he is a veteran with a ton of experience, including the movie Ice Age and stints at companies like 20th Century Fox Animation,” he continued. “When I talked with Chris, he said he had read a lot of interviews with me and felt we had a similar approach to creation. Talking about our similarities, we clicked and decided maybe we should do some kind of collaboration. We started our conversation over two years ago, and finally reached the stage where we could make an announcement. Chris is extremely cost-conscious and time-conscious in his quest to make successful movies. We decided to try making a movie together, and distributing the completed movie globally through Universal Pictures.”
Miyamoto also went on to stress that just because the project is in development, it does not necessarily mean that it will ultimately make it to the big screen: “We’ve talked together and share the feeling that if we can’t make something interesting we’ll just call it quits. But we’ve already met a number of times to hash out the screenplay, our talks together are progressing, and I hope to make an announcement once we’ve ironed out some things like the schedule.”
Are you excited about the prospect of an animated Mario movie from Nintendo and Illumination? Let us know in the comments below…