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Sorry, Bob Hoskins, but a new Super Mario movie is coming to restore the gaming icon's cinematic legacy — and it finally has a timeline. News first surfaced about an animated film about Nintendo's plumber mascot back in 2017, when Nintendo, Illumination Entertainment head Chris Meledandri (the man behind the Despicable Me franchise among others), and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto were in talks on the project. Now, it's happening for real and on its way.
This information comes buried in Nintendo’s new Corporate Management Policy Briefing for the fiscal year. About thirty pages into this text, the company explains that it's interested in "visual content expansion" — starting with the CG-animated Mario movie. It says that the film's "production is moving ahead smoothly," involves Meledandri and Miyamoto (the latter as a co-producer), and is set for theatrical release in 2022 from Universal Pictures.
This news breaks as Nintendo plans plenty of fun for Mario's 35th anniversary and, like Mario's continued reach to the Galaxy and beyond, it's also thinking big for its future. The next page of the briefing explains that while 2022 will see the Mario movie, the company has "already embarked on multiple other visual content expansion projects."
Will there be a new MCU, be it a Mario Cinematic Universe or Mushroom (Kingdom) Cinematic Universe? Maybe! But the briefing explains that these initiatives won't be limited to movies. Animated shows or other venues could be in the future for Nintendo and its bevy of classic video game characters. Nintendo's plans to expand those working with its IP could yield all sorts of weird and fun projects...but let's keep away from live-action this time, OK?
The animated Super Mario movie is set to hit theaters in 2022.