Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri Details Plans for Animated ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Film

You can already feel the hesitation amongst fans when it comes to this one but, Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind Despicable Me, is spearheading an animated film about Nintendo icon Super Mario.

Thanks to an exclusive report from Variety, Illumination’s founder, Chris Meledandri has detailed his plans for an animated version of the classic video game series. Meledandri referenced the past Super Mario Bros. movie while speaking about his thoughts on the new project.

“I like that this was not done well the first time (referencing the critically panned 1993 live-action film). 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.”

Meledandri also revealed that he is working closely with Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer and producer behind Super Mario Bros, to craft the movie.

“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.”

Insiders have confirmed that the film is in “priority development” at Illumination and could be in theaters by 2022.

The Super Mario Bros. games span several generations of gamers with everything from the classic platformers to new takes on the series like Super Mario Odyssey, and that’s something that Meledandri told Variety he’s keeping in mind when constructing his vision for the film.

“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.”

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