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


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.