Nintendo's had a good year. Between the immense success of the company's Switch, the critical acclaim that both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have received, and the sheer wealth of third-party games arriving for the aforementioned console, it really shouldn't be that surprising that Nintendo's evidently exploring other opportunities.
Yet for those of us that still recall the cinematic disaster that was the 1993 release of the Super Mario Bros. movie, the knowledge that the company is once again pursuing Mario's fame as a movie star is a bit of a shock. According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Illumination Entertainment – the same studio responsible for the Despicable Me and Minions movies – is expected to soon reach a deal with Nintendo regarding the development of an animated Super Mario film.
The WSJ report states, in exchange for access to one of the famously protective Nintendo's IPs, the company wants full involvement in the creative process to ensure a faithful adaptation worthy of Mario. Shigeru Miyamoto, co-Representative Director of Nintendo, is expected to act as the movie's producer.
While Nintendo's capability as a video game development company outshines much of the competition, it remains to be seen whether or not Miyamoto's presence will be enough to turn the fledgling project into a cinematic success. Previous video game adaptations – such as the recent Assassin's Creed movie – have typically failed miserably in generating a low return-on-investment and earning generally low reviews.
Various media outlets have approached Nintendo for comment on the matter, only to be repeatedly rebuffed.