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Report suggests Nintendo close to deal for a new Mario movie

Report suggests Nintendo close to deal for a new Mario movieLeguizamo and Hoskins wait to see if they’ll be picked for the vocal cast.

Nearly 25 years after a live-action version of the Mario Bros. first graced the silver screen, the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions is close to a deal to bring an animated Mario movie to theaters, according to a Wall Street Journal report[1].

Illumination Entertainment, a subsidiary of Comcast-owned NBC Universal, is close to a licensing deal for the film rights to the Mario games, according to “people with knowledge of the discussions” cited by the WSJ. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto would likely serve as a producer on the film, according to the report. Talks have been ongoing for about a year, and the parties are currently finalizing just how involved Nintendo itself would be in the creative approval process for the movie, according to the paper.The new report comes more than a year after Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima told the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper that the company was in talks with a number of movie studios[2] to bring more of its popular characters to the big screen (in addition to the long-running Pokemon anime film and TV franchise).

Nintendo is currently working with Universal to bring branded attractions to the company’s worldwide theme parks[3], so there’s some basis for the relationship there.A deal for a Mario movie would be the first licensed TV or film appearance for Mario since 1993’s critically panned (and Miyamoto-maligned[4]) Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. But before you get your hopes up, recall that a similar 2015 WSJ report[5] of plans for a live-action Netflix series based on The Legend of Zelda ended up being denied by Nintendo’s then-president Satoru Iwata[6] weeks later.Even if a Mario film deal does go through, an actual movie wouldn’t be guaranteed to hit theaters any time soon; the WSJ suggests it “wouldn’t come out for several years.” And there’s no guarantee we’d see a finalized movie come to pass at all. Peter Jackson was attached to a movie based on Microsoft’s Halo franchise before those plans fell apart[7] years ago. Much-hyped plans[8] for Gabe Newell and J.J.

Abrams to collaborate on Portal and Half-Life movies fizzled out long before filming started. And films based on game franchises like Space Invaders[9], Asteroids[10], Spy Hunter[11], Tetris[12], and many more[13] have been stuck in development hell for years since licensing deals were inked.

All that said, we’d love to have an “official” animated version of Mario that’s a little more polished and modern than the embarrassing-in-retrospect Super Mario Bros. Super Show[14] and its follow-ups (or even the slightly better, incredibly surreal Japanese anime movie[15]).

Hey, is the team behind Hotel Mario‘s animated cut scenes[16] still available?

References

  1. ^ a Wall Street Journal report (www.wsj.com)
  2. ^ in talks with a number of movie studios (arstechnica.com)
  3. ^ bring branded attractions to the company’s worldwide theme parks (arstechnica.com)
  4. ^ Miyamoto-maligned (arstechnica.com)
  5. ^ report (arstechnica.com)
  6. ^ denied by Nintendo’s then-president Satoru Iwata (arstechnica.com)
  7. ^ fell apart (arstechnica.com)
  8. ^ Much-hyped plans (arstechnica.com)
  9. ^ Space Invaders (arstechnica.com)
  10. ^ Asteroids (arstechnica.com)
  11. ^ Spy Hunter (arstechnica.com)
  12. ^ Tetris (arstechnica.com)
  13. ^ many more (www.denofgeek.com)
  14. ^ the embarrassing-in-retrospect Super Mario Bros.

    Super Show (www.imdb.com)

  15. ^ Japanese anime movie (www.youtube.com)
  16. ^ Hotel Mario’s animated cut scenes (www.youtube.com)

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