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'Super Mario Bros.' Movie in the Works from 'Despicable Me' Studio

Super Mario

A Super Mario Bros. movie is in the works at Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me movies.

Variety reported that Illumination’s founder, Chris Meledandri, wants to make an animated version of the classic video game series and shared new details on the founder’s views for the project. Meledandri referenced the past Super Mario Bros. movie while speaking about his thoughts on the new project.

“I like that this was not done well the first time,” he told Variety. “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.”

The studio founder is also working with Shigeru Miyamoto to create the movie, the designer and producer behind Super Mario Bros.

“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film,” he said. “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.”

The Super Mario Bros. games span several generations of gamers with everything from the classic platformers to new takes on the series like Super Mario Odyssey, and that’s something that Meledandri told Variety he’s keeping in mind. Speaking about the challenges of the Super Mario Bros. movie project and acknowledging the generations of interest in Super Mario Bros., he said one of the challenges was avoiding something that would compromise what Mario’s fans love about the character and series while still creating something “organic to the iconography.”

“It’s an ambitious task,” Meledandri said. “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.”


As for the release timing of the film, Variety’s report stated that the Super Mario Bros. movie is currently in “priority development” within Illumination’s studio. There’s a chance that the movie could be in theaters by 2022.

Illumination is responsible for various animated films such as the Despicable Me series and its spinoff, Minions, as well as other movies like The Secret Life of Pets. The next film coming from the studio is Dr Seuss’ The Grinch, an animated film scheduled to be released on November 9th.