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Is Universal Planning a Super Mario Movie?

Nov 17, 2017

By: Max Cannon

With the world hitting maximum Mario-fever following the release of Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo looks like they're primed to keep the hype train going with a movie starring Mario himself if a report from the Wall Street Journal is accurate.

An Animated Adventure

In a collaboration with Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment, the upcoming Super Mario movie seems to have been in discussion for over a year. You'll more than likely be familiar with some of Illumination's movies which include The Secret Life of Pets, Despicable Me, and Minions. That makes the assumption, pretty reasonably, that the upcoming movie will be an animated film, especially when you couple this with the fact that Nintendo disastrously approved a live-action Mario movie back in the 90's. The movie turned out so terribly that Nintendo has been overly protective of their characters and properties ever since.

Nintendo's teamed up with other companies before.Nintendo's teamed up with other companies before.

This deal makes sense with a company like Universal, especially considering that this isn't the first collaboration between the movie studio and Nintendo. Earlier this year, Nintendo broke ground on developing a Nintendo themed addition to the Universal Studios Theme Park. Nintendo has also been more open to working with other companies as evidenced by their release of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle with Ubisoft.

Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios Japan!Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios Japan!

Outside of the Mushroom Kingdom

Mario has spent a fair amount of time outside of Nintendo's hands with some highs and lows in terms of quality. The lowest point is obviously the aforementioned Super Mario Bros movie which feels more like an episode of "Power Rangers" than a product of Nintendo's and the live-action/cartoon "Super Mario Bros Super Show" didn't fare much better. Those being the most notable Nintendo products outside of video games, we also saw "The Legend of Zelda" as a cartoon and even a "Donkey Kong Country" show during the earliest years of ABC Family channel.

Zelda and Link from their 90's cartoon.Zelda and Link from their 90's cartoon.

Nintendo's outside partnerships in gaming have been much more successful. The beloved Super Mario RPG was developed by SquareSoft, a handful of unique and successful Zelda titles were developed by Capcom, and the Wii U's Star Fox Zero was created by a team over at Platinum Games. This may be a great time for Nintendo to try their hand at movies with the influx of video game movies we've seen lately which include Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, and a possible Splinter Cell movie on the horizon.

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On top of the handful of video game movies, Nintendo is more popular than ever before. The Nintendo Switch is one of the highest selling consoles of the year, and much more successful than the Wii U, and Super Mario Odyssey is the fastest selling Mario game of all time. Capitalizing on the world's love of Nintendo worlds and characters especially Mario makes more sense now than ever before. 

Have Your Say!

What do you think of Nintendo teaming up to make a Mario movie? Will you check out the film when it hits theaters? Comment below!