After the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie, it seemed like our favorite plumber might never see the silver screen again. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, the Mario Bros. will be getting a second chance at cinema life with a deal between Nintendo, Universal Pictures, and Illumination Entertainment.
The 1993 version of Super Mario Bros. has become a cult classic, but it flopped so bad in theaters it made less than half of its budget back. John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the film, said in his biography that he and Bob Hoskins (Mario) hatest working on the film, and frequently had to get drunk before they could bring themselves to come out on set.
Regardless of how bad the Super Mario Bros. live-action film was, it did capture that quintessential 90s feeling in a way few other films did. Unfortunately, it became the poster child for horrible movies based on a video game license, and it has taken more than 20 years before we’re even hearing about another film starring a character from a Nintendo franchise.
There have been rumors of Mario making a return to film since 2015 when Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima was reported by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun to be speaking with studios about potentially creating new animated films around the franchise. If Nintendo wanted a United States-based studio to make a Mario movie, there could be few better choices than Illumination Entertainment. Illumination is behind the wildly-popular Despicable Me and Minions movies.
These reports should be taken with a grain of salt though. In February 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix was producing a series based on The Legend of Zelda which never came to fruition.
So far, no official announcement concerning a Super Mario Bros. movie, animated or otherwise, has been released by any of the three companies mentioned above. Nintendo of America has declined to comment entirely.