Let's-a-go! Nintendo has confirmed that the long-rumored Mario movie has officially been given the green light. The Japanese games company has confirmed Universal Pictures will handle distribution worldwide, with the game's famous creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Illumination chief Chris Meledandri on board to produce.
There are no other immediate details at this stage, but the partnership with Illumination—the studio behind such megahits as the Despicable Me franchise and The Secret Life of Pets—is certainly a promising one. Illumination has the prowess to make a great CGI family-friendly flick, and having Miyamoto on board is a major plus to ensure everyone involved gets the heart of the character right.
Miyamoto is, of course, the brains behind the original Super Mario Bros. game, and Nintendo’s chief creative. His producing role suggests that this project will be steering away from the pretty terrible 1993 live-action version starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, which Miyamoto was not a part of (he received a “based on the concept and characters created by: Nintendo" credit.)
It's been 24 years since that movie was released (which made a paltry $20 million at the U.S. box office), and it seems that Nintendo has only now finally found the right recipe to bring the company's beloved character back to the big screen. No doubt they'll be hoping the new and improved fictional Italian hero will be bringing in more gold coins at the box office this time around.
Miyamoto created the character for the arcade game Donkey Kong, released on July 9, 1981. The games have since been developed by a variety of developers, including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Mario has also had adventures that have taken him everywhere from magical lands to deep space over the decades.
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