Illumination Developing ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Film

Illumination Entertainment is looking to make a movie based on one of the greatest video game properties of all time, Super Mario Bros.

It seems like video games have had a rough time when being translated to other mediums; either they fall completely flat or a great deal is lost in translation. But that could change, as Illumination Entertainment is looking to make a movie based on one of the greatest video game characters of all time.

Speaking to Variety, Illumination founder Chris Meledandri describes his plans for a Super Mario film. Meledandri, who is the producer behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, relishes the challenge of adapting a property that previously suffered a bumpy transition from game console to the big screen:

“I like that this was not done well the first time. I think that’s more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with.”

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Meledandri also revealed that he’s working closely with Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer and producer responsible for cooking up Super Mario Bros:

“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film. 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.”

Super Mario Bros is in “priority development” at Illumination and could be in theaters by 2022. Meledandri said the following:

“It’s an ambitious task. The challenge is taking things that are so thin in their original form and finding depth that doesn’t compromise what generations of fans love about Mario, but also feels organic to the iconography and can support a three-act structure.”