Report: Nintendo Close to Deal With Minions Film Studio for Animated Super Mario Movie

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A new report is pointing to Nintendo nearing the finalizing of a licensing deal for a new Super Mario Bros. movie.

You read that right – the Japanese games and hardware manufacturer is supposedly ironing out a licensing deal (via the Wall Street Journal) with Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio known for movies like the Despicable Me franchise, Minions, and more.

The WSJ notes that Nintendo has been in talks regarding the movie for over a year, with Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto also overseeing the negotiations as well. The report also suggests Miyamoto will remain on the project as producer, as well as when production begins.

Miyamoto himself has been known to also produce animated shorts based on game series he’s worked on, like the Pikmin short movies.

The report points out that Nintendo was keen on ensuring they will be guaranteed a role in the creative process, distancing this deal from being a simple licensing deal to an external studio. Furthermore, the film is supposed to already be in early development within Illumination’s Paris studio Mac Guff, the folks mostly responsible for the Despicable Me films.

This makes sense considering Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed the company would re-visit the movie industry, with a clear focus on animated films because their live-action attempts like the 1993 Super Mario adaptation lead to mass rioting, infertility, among other things. It’s generally a bad, bad experience. There’s also supposedly a live-action Detective Pikachu movie in the works.

Illumination is also the studio responsible for producing videos for the real-life NintendoLand theme park, which is being produced via a new partnership with Universal Studios.

The latest game in the series, Super Mario Odyssey, is now available for the Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review for the game here (we highly recommend it!). Would you be interested in an animated Super Mario feature film? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • wombat

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  • Touma

    inb4 Nintendo [animated] cinematic universe with Zelda and Kirby movies already planned, setting up an eventual Smash Bros movie.

  • Mechonis
  • PaRaLLaXTHeTiCS

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

  • RetroGamer

    They’ll never escape the specter of the live-acted movie.

  • Mea K

    Well, I’m glad it’s an animated film and I’m glad Nintendo is staying involved in the creative process, but I still wonder who asked for this.

  • NukeA6

    Did the Super Mario Bros movie really cause mass rioting?

  • SuuLoliBoob

    The only thing wrong with this article is the quite obvious click bait. I think most people by now know Illumination Entertainment made the god awful minions, no need to put it in the title. That’s like saying “the studio who made Micky Mouse” to talk about Disney.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Does that make the Pokemon Company DC comics?

  • Cy

    I’ve literally never heard of Illumination Entertainment until right now, but I’ve definitely heard of Minions and Despicable Me. Calm your tits. There are more things in the world than “the most generic headline ever” and “clickbait”.

  • Cy

    Because gamers, by and large, are vindictive, childish shits who can never let things go or give anything a second chance.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Okay. I did say “I think”, also, it was really confusing reading the article with the title. I was confused for about a minute thinking “What do they mean? Did the minions have a smaller. different studio that worked on it?” until i decided to finally read the article and realized they were talking about Illumination.

  • Jack Thompson

    Dear god no. No problem with Illumination, but there should not be a Mario movie.

  • Loli ♥ Antagonist

    Rearrange the letters of WSJ… And it’s SJW!

    ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED!

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    A Mario Animated Movie could work if they went for a story along the same tone as the Mario RPGs (either Mario and Luigi or the first 3 Paper Marios).

    I don’t mind Illumination, they’ve done good stuff, bad stuff, and okay stuff, Considering Miyamoto will be the movie’s producer at the very least the movie will be faithful.

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    just look at Sonic ’06. it happened 11 years ago and even after Unleashed, Colors, and Generations people won’t shut up about it (now they’re saying that Forces, a game that while not great is still a decent 7/10 is as bad as ’06)

  • OldPalpy

    Why so salty?

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    actually, if were making the analogy that Nintendo in this case is Marvel, Pokemon Company would be Fox.

  • Dr. Roswell. W
  • Cy

    Yep, (although I will say Unleashed was god awful) or how people still bring up the Xbox One reveal even though Microsoft actually listened to the consumers and changed pretty much everything people hated.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Huh? Sonic Mania was loved by a lot of people.

  • braneman

    Where do you live? I want to go live over there cause that sounds like a place where the developers behind Two Worlds didn’t go on to make three games, or Battlefield 3 and 4 didn’t suffer severe launch issues and still go on to sell lots of copies.

  • braneman

    Isn’t Illumination the company that figured out how to make a profit no matter what by making meme trailers and cutting as many corners on their movies humanely possible?

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    This would have worked better as a Disney style animated movie in the 90’s when Mario was a bigger pop culture icon and seen as the mascot of video games.

    All I see coming from this is a wet fart similar to Ratchet And Clank.

  • RetroGamer

    Either that or they just like making fun of old, cheesy movies. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    It’s childish to hate a shitty movie made by cynical hacks who cared very little about respecting the source material they were adapting?

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    you can’t spell jews without sjw

  • OldPalpy

    Gee willikers it’s almost like it’s one of worst most embarrassing games of all time that came out of a franchise that once a pop culture juggernaut that had a profound effect on the history of gaming until succumbing to the very trash that 06 so masterfully sums up, Forces isn’t on that caliber of 06 but it’s still vapid trash that caters to Deviant Art filth and heavily waters down the gameplay from Generations layered with a dried crust of shit that echoes 06 (Shun Nakamura, terrible nonstop dialogue in and out of gameplay, city on fire, tryhard edginess, dark powerful tryhard villain). If people shut up about 06 they enable shitheads like Iizuka and Nakamura to actually make another 06.

  • OldPalpy

    Because he was raised on bad Gamecube Sonic he hates that Mania is focused on being a fun 2D platformer instead of bad 3D/2.5D along with bad anime storytelling, if Mania had long voice acted cutscenes like Freedom Planet he’d be jizzing all over it only wishing there was a skip gameplay option.

  • Matz

    First we get a Mario Spin-off with literal Minions and now we get a Mario movie made by the people behind the real Minions with a small possibility to see those yellow bastard making a cameo

    We ended in a strange timeline

  • OldPalpy

    Xbone deserves the hole it dug and deserves every once of shit thrown at them it’s the only way to make them and the industry afraid of bringing the terrible original concepts of Xbone back. Where you not around during that time in 2013 seeing Microsoft and it’s industry/journo shills jerking off over the glorious online DRM future and trashing on anyone that objected? The pants pissing MS did after the fucking Sony gave them was pure catharsis.

  • uncle_alfred

    Because one terrible mario movie clearly was not enough.

  • sanic

    How about a movie where mario is warped to the shrek universe? I mean its obviously not about quality so lets have some fun.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever
  • BFG

    Two nukes werent enough

  • entropy

    Yes, pre-teens are a niche.

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    Same, I never heard of Illumination Entertainment until now. Read it and thought Illusion as in those guys.

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    Always thought there was something dodgy Weekly Shōnen Jump.

  • BFG

    Get me off this ride

  • Gray

    Could they…do it? I mean, I have to assume if Nintendo is overseeing things with their usual iron grip, they’ll pull the plug if it’s going to make the Mario franchise look bad. I don’t think we’ll see another Super Mario Bros. Movie, at least…just another Super Mario Bros movie, if this works out. :P

  • Thoon Thoon

    That is explicitly their business model, like, they brag about it.

    Who’s ready for the live action movie to retroactively become the good Mario movie?

  • Farwin

    So what’s the going rate on it being Spirits Within– level bad?

    (I actually liked the Live-action movie. pls no bully)

  • Sam XXX

    Your mom should’ve aborted.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    This will be a 3D animated movie. And Miyamoto will supervise it this time.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    You realize that Rabbids existed way before the Minions, right?

  • PaRaLLaXTHeTiCS

    Sooooo Captain Lou Albino is the greatest live action Mario.

  • Ugh; another Mario movie?

    Didn’t the world learn anything in 1993?

  • Malascus
  • Travis Touchdown

    >Mario isn’t the mascot of video games

    Why do you think is? A Call of Duty soldier?

  • ProxyDoug

    It was a matter of time I suppose.
    I just hope it doesn’t have that snappy timing western animated movies have now, it just made a lot of them unwatchable to me. Also, the characters fit their designed tropes too well, they all look the same with no surprises.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    I was just saying back when Nintendo dominated the industry, Mario was seen as the face of all gaming. Hes still a household name, but hes not as phenomenal as he once was.

  • Matz

    Nowadays they’re compared with Minions, and for children that grew with the Minions, Rabbids are like a cheap knock-off of said pests

  • Jack Thompson

    For the purpose of ridicule, yes, good games are generally ignored. Why wouldn’t they be?

  • Jack Thompson

    You do know Shiggy is the one responsible for ensuring the last two Paper Mario games were soulless trash with no original characters and loads of generic toads, right?

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    Ever hear of Mr. Bones’ Wild Ride?

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    And like that, Little Green Men have been forgotten.

  • Jack Thompson

    Stop misusing the word literal. Rabbids are worse than Minions anyways.

  • Jack Thompson

    Like he did the last two Paper Mario games?

  • uncle_alfred

    Yeah, i have high hopes that game director/dev will be enough to cover for otherwise (probably) subpar movie director.

  • Snorlaxation

    to avoid live action interpretations of video game adaptations?

  • Everything Illumination Entertainment has made is horrible so this Mario movie will be the same.

  • Don’t worry as their low birth rates will be.

  • Your time of the month huh?

  • Sonic Forces is garbage.

  • Sony is not much better though.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Ed Boon and John Tobias co wrote the Mortal Kombat movies, and look how that turned out…

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    But even before Forces was announced, we had Unleashed, Generations, and Colors. all very well received (save for the Werehog parts). There was no longer any point to keep talking about ’06. Even Lost World was a decent game. (and I HATE Lost World, though mostly because of the story).

    Now regarding Forces, here’s what I feel about it After just 100% completing it: While I agree that the gameplay was a disappointment, the game itself was nowhere near a bad game (Overall, it’s a decent game. I’d give a 7/10), despite being short and linear for the most part (Which IS a let down, I’m not saying it’s not) the Levels were still fun to speed run and packed with extra objectives (Which extended their longevity, plus, they were all just beautiful to look at, the one thing that none can complain about in this is the graphics.), Even the negative reviews mostly agree that the Avatar was a great idea and one of the best parts of Forces (I do hope it comes back in future games), the dialogue you hate so much can be toggled off from the menu so there’s no reason to complain about it.

    As for the story… Sorry, but Force presentsation was on point (except for a few gripes like Tails being a bit too cowardly, Classic Sonic having no role, and Infinite’s demise), it went to a darker side but didn’t go overly serious like Shadow or ’06 and the there was a sense of Self awareness to the edgyness (Infinite’s theme literally says “I am the Sharpest of Blades”. they knew what they were doing and were having fun with it, if you don’t find it entertaining that’s a personal thing) and the characters felt like themselves. (This was BY FAR the Best Dr. Eggman has been in may years) There’s no way the story in Forces wasn’t miles better than Colors, LW, or Generations (that one just gave up on having a story).

    Honestly, the biggest problem with Forces was the Level Design team (again, I do agree that was a let down, but all the rest of the game left me with a positive experience). Who thought it was a good idea to only have 3 completely inexperienced guys who didn’t work on any of the boost games?!

  • Zanard Bell

    Albano, man.

  • Zanard Bell

    Sure, let’s make a movie on the one franchise where story takes a backseat on Nintendo’s ‘MUH FUN’ sensibilities.

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    Ah… Yeah.. there’s that….

    dammit.

  • THE 42 YEAR OLD LOLI

    I refeer you my response to Oldpalpy.

  • PaRaLLaXTHeTiCS

    Never heard of her.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    To be fair there was the Super Mario Super Show, and neither Despicable Me nor Minions are exactly story heavy films themselves. I don’t know if they’d be my first choice, but Illumination’s style is a good fit for Mario.

  • Chili

    Ratchet and Clank was made by Sony Pictures, not Illumination. Sony has a much worse track record for quality. Illumination has only made one bad film (The Minions Movie).

  • Chili

    No?
    Despicable Me 1, Despicable Me 2, and Sing were really great films. They only made one shitty low effort film, that being The Minions Movie. And honestly, that’s not surprising. Anytime you make an entire spinoff film dedicated to a gag/gimick it ends in disaster. The minions were never meant to take center stage.

  • Chili

    Why? Illumination does an incredible job on most of the movies they do and their CGI is pretty good for such a relatively new animation studio. If anyone would be fit for a Mario film, they would really.

  • Chili

    What a terrible click-baity title.
    The Minions Movie was their worst film. Please don’t equate Illumination Studios to what is literally their worst work. Sing was amazing, and the Despicable Me films (not The Minions Movie) were both pretty solid heartfelt family films.

  • Chili

    >Everything Illumination Entertainment has made is horrible
    Literally name one thing wrong with Sing. I dare you. Sing is without a doubt their best work and spends WAY more effort on its characters than it ever implied it’d be.

    And the Despicable Me films were fine. Not incredible, but still really good and heartfelt.

  • BFG

    This “low birth rates” meme implies constant population growth is good

  • forweg

    No, no they weren’t.

  • forweg

    Jesus Christ dude, are you an Illumination PR shill?

  • Nah all it says is that Japaneses are not keeping the population stable.

  • Sing has a horrible story and characters. Plus furfag shit!

  • Oh a bitch from Gematsu came here. Yes! :)

  • No surprise that someone from gematsu would have shit taste. I bet you own a Vita.

  • No they weren’t faggot. All their films are shit.

  • You liked Hop?

  • Nah just a faggot from gematsu. They are all like this.

  • Chili

    Just someone fond of some of their works (particularly Sing) that got triggered by the title and thus went on a REEEEEEEEEEEEEE spree in the comments.

  • Chili

    >implying Gematsu isn’t the best news site
    Protip: If your website has review articles and/or opinion articles, it is inferior to pure news sites.

  • Chili

    I didn’t even know Hop existed. Shows what I know.
    I’ve only seen:
    >Despicable Me
    >Despicable Me 2
    >The Minions Movie
    >Secret Life of Pets
    >Sing
    By them. Looks like Hop was pretty bad.

  • Gematsu is a inferior site compared to nichegamer in ever way. Gematsu censors everything, is controlled by SonySlaves, outright lie to the community, and is SJW cucks.

  • All of them are bad.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Their animation is cheaply done and their storytelling is generic.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I dunno, Mario still kind of is the face of gaming to a lot of people.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Hop makes their other movies look decent by comparison, and that’s without mentioning the fact that the main character is voiced by Russell Brand.