Variety has some interesting intel on Illumination’s animated Super Mario Bros. movie, based on the iconic Nintendo video game franchise. In their reporting, it’s revealed that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto will be working closely with the animation house on the project. Giving the impression that Nintendo will be making sure that Illumination stays on track and keeping a close eye on their characters.
Here is what Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to say about the collaboration.
“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film,” said Meledandri. “I’ve rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto. There’s a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I’ve made that mistake before.”
This isn’t terribly surprising considering how the 1993 live-action film turned out to become one the worst movies made in the 1990’s kicking-off the video game movie adaptation curse, which has seen a bulk of film adaptations turn out to be box office bombs or lacking substance. One of the key factors being how hands-off the creatives were with that project.
Animation certainly feels like a better avenue for a character like Mario, there had been an animated TV series and the Mushroom Kingdom is basically a fantastical cartoon universe as is. Illumination has helped Universal Pictures become a massive player as their global box office earnings ahead of the release of their holiday remake of The Grinch totals $5.7 billion. Recent releases Minions and Despicable Me 3 each crossing the billion dollar mark.
Variety also says that the studio sees the film as a ”priority” and could be in theaters by 2022.
Super Mario Bros. isn’t the only Nintendo property getting an adaption as Legendary has their Pokemon: Detective Pikachu film releasing next year and there is a report of a Legend of Zelda TV series in the works as well.