Super Mario Movie May Be Called Off If an Interesting Story Isn’t Settled on Says Miyamoto


After years of rumors, Nintendo finally confirmed they’re working on a new animated Super Mario movie with Universal and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets). The announcement was short on details, but Nintendo did reveal Shigeru Miyamoto will be co-producing the movie. So, just how involved is Mario’s creator? Is his producer role mostly symbolic, or is he actually getting his hands dirty?

Miyamoto addressed the Mario movie during Nintendo’s recent investor’s Q&A, and sounds like he’s all-in. According to Miyamoto, he’s been talking to Illumination for over two years.

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“I've been considering an animated film for many years now. [...] I have talked with all sorts of movie directors and producers, and eventually I was introduced to Illumination via Universal.

When I talked with [Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri], he said he had read a lot of interviews with me and felt we had a similar approach to creation. Talking about our similarities, we clicked and decided maybe we should do some kind of collaboration. We started our conversation over two years ago, and finally reached the stage where we could make an announcement. Chris is extremely cost-conscious and time-conscious in his quest to make successful movies, so we decided to try making a movie together.”

It sounds like Miyamoto and Meledandri are on the same page, but the Mario movie may not be a done deal just yet. It seems a lot depends on the screenplay, which Miyamoto is working directly on…

“We've talked and share the feeling that if we can't make something interesting, we'll just call it quits. But we've already met a number of times to hash out the screenplay. Our talks together are progressing, and I hope to make an announcement once we've ironed out some things, like the schedule.”

It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of story they come up with for a Super Mario movie. I’m guessing a princess will be kidnapped and Mario will do some jumping, but from there…shrug? Mario doesn’t exactly have a complex personality or rich inner life to draw on.

What are your thoughts? What would happen in your ideal Super Mario screenplay?