Wa-hoo! Could A Mario Movie Be Coming Soon?

Image: Nintendo

The first time Mario got a movie, things didn’t go so well. At all. The live action film had little to do with the actual Mario games, the plot was a bizarre mess of goofy comedy tropes and weird cyber-punk aesthetics in a dinosaur world where Bowser was a human being named King Koopa for some reason, and very few people liked it unless they liked it ironically. That said, it’s been a long time since then- over two decades, as a matter of fact. Because of this, it looks as though Nintendo is going to be trying their hand at the movie-making business once again with a brand new Super Mario Bros. film some time in the foreseeable future.

That’s right, this movie- which is apparently being worked out as a potential deal with Nintendo right now by the studio that brought audiences the Minions movie- might actually be happening. Nothing is official as of yet, and rumors are a star coin a dozen, but Hollywood moves quickly; it would not be too surprising to hear of real progress in the near future. If this does actually happen, it is expected that the creator of Mario (Shigeru Miyamoto) would be on-board with the movie as a producer. That would likely be a good sign that steps were being taken to ensure accuracy and quality, and not… whatever the last Mario Bros. movie was, or as Bob Hoskins puts it “the worst thing [he] ever did” and “a nightmare”.

While this may seem surprising, a number of events have hinted at this second attempt at a Hollywood movie going a ways back now. For one, Nintendo has been experimenting with film making, using short films on the 3DS like those meant to build hype for Pikmin 3 and Kid Icarus Uprising for years now, possibly as practice for something like a full-length Mario film. Additionally, Bowser did appear in a brief but memorable cameo in Wreck-It Ralph, and Mario is planned to appear at some point in the series as well. Finally, Nintendo is not a stranger to animation- while the original Mario Bros. movie was near-universally panned, the anime movie was much better received, and so it is possible, that with an accomplished animation studio on board, the game developer could do great things with the series on the big screen and in 3D animation.

It is also possible that this decision was at least, in part, spurred on by the reports of a Sonic the Hedgehog CG/live action mix movie that is currently in production for a release some time in 2019. Since Mario and Sonic have been rivals ever since the blue blur showed up out of nowhere to give Mario a literal run for his money in the 90s, it would be natural for them to compete for moviegoing audiences as well. Presumably, Nintendo would differ from Sega’s approach by creating a completely cartoon movie and not a hybrid between real people and computer animation, but you never know. Stranger things have happened when it comes to video game movies.