Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Nintendo may partner with Universal for animated Mario movie

Nintendo may partner with Universal for animated Mario movie

Futher details on how the famous pair of plumbers will be making their jump to the big screen are scarce, with the film still in the early development stages. Neither company would comment on the report or to reporters who followed up on it. Not a surprising sticking point for Nintendo, especially considering the teensy little shadow hanging over this whole deal: the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie.

Nintendo has famously been hesitant to allow its franchises to be adapted into movies. "The dozens of Super Mario Brothers games and their spin-offs are widely believed to be the best-selling videogame franchise ever, having sold more than 330 million units total, according to Nintendo", Fritz and Mochizuki continue. The film performed poorly at the box office with just $20.9 million on a $48 million budget.

Nintendo is reportedly close to signing a deal with Universal Pictures and French animation studio Illumination to bring iconic video game mascot Mario back to the big screen more than two decades after the plumber's ill-fated big-screen debut. The source says the project has yet to be greenlit, but if it were, it'd take years before release.

Nintendo and Universal have an existing relationship that will see theme parks based on the video game giant's renowned properties opened in Universal Studios' locations in Japan, Florida and California.

The most recent installment in the series is this year's "Super Mario Odyssey" which hit the Switch in October.

Nintendo's trepidation with a new Super Mario movie stems from the company's desire to control almost all aspects of the film. "Last year, it was announced that Legendary Entertainment had closed a deal with The Pokemon Company, which handles all the franchise rights from the Nintendo game, for a live-action film franchise based on Detective Pikachu", writes Mia Galuppo for the Hollywood Reporter. This time it's looking to partner with Universal, though the end product isn't slated to be a live action movie devoid of relevance to the games.

What do you think of this new level for Mario and Luigi?

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