This month will see Illumination’s new take on How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but the studio is apparently now setting their sights on the release of a movie adaptation of Nintendo’s number one mascot.
As per Variety, Illumination currently has a Super Mario Bros film currently in ‘priority development.’ Illumination founder Chris Meledandri told the site:
“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.”
It’s worth noting that the live-action adaptation of Super Mario Bros from the 90s is considered to be one of the worst movies ever made, but the animation medium seems to be the perfect way to bring Mario and Luigi back onscreen. Meledandri, however, sees this as an opportunity and says, “I like that this was not done well the first time… 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.”
When it comes to movie adaptations of video game properties, the end result is rarely successful, and as of now, we have yet to have a movie based on a video game that can be considered “good” by fan standards. With the animation medium, though, I think there’s a whole new level of authenticity that can come with storytelling, especially with a property like Super Mario.
“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.”
Illumination plans to release their Super Mario Bros movie by 2022.