Ever since its botched 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie, Nintendo has been very reluctant in letting Hollywood use any of its properties. However, new reports have now confirmed that a brand new animated Super Mario movie may indeed be coming and that it could hit theaters sometime in 2020.
Late last year, Nintendo was already rumored to be in talks with Illumination Entertainment, the company responsible for hit animated movies such as Despicable Me and the Minions movie. However, neither of the companies have officially confirmed that a partnership was indeed in the works.
In a recent interview with the Japanese newspaper Kyoto Shimbun, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima surprisingly confirmed on record that they were indeed working on an animated Super Mario movie and that they are already very close to reaching a deal with a partner. Who that partner is still remains to be seen, but Illumination Entertainment does seem to be likely candidate. Kimishima added that that his company will be very much involved in the entire creative process with series creator Shigeru Miyamoto likely serving as its producer.
According to Kimishima, if all goes well with the partnership, the new Super Mario movie could hit theaters in 2020. The company apparently wants to release the new movie right before the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan. The particular year also holds a big significance for the company as it is also planning to officially open its new Super Mario Land theme park in Universal Studios Japan.
Several of Nintendo’s properties including Zelda and Donkey Kong have all been rumored to be adapted to either film or television at one point in time. However, Nintendo has continually expressed its hesitation in licensing its properties despite the clamor from different Hollywood execs and producers. Netflix had even expressed its interest in creating a television show based on Nintendo’s Zelda franchise at one point, but that unfortunately never came to fruition.
Based on Kimishima’s latest announcement, it seems like the company is now ready to move past its previous failures and fans may be seeing more of its properties in both television and on the big screen with the animated Super Mario movie hopefully being the first of many.