Illumination founder Chris Meledandri, Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto produce film
Nintendo confirmed in its Fiscal Year Ending March 2021: Corporate Management Policy Briefing on Wednesday that Illumination's animated film adaptation of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. game franchise will open in theaters in 2022. The briefing noted that "production is moving ahead smoothly."
Illumination founder Chris Meledandri told entertainment news source Variety in November 2018 that the film was in “priority development” for a possible theatrical debut by 2022. Meledandri is co-producing the film with Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto. Meledandri stated that Miyamoto is "front and center in the creation of this film" and noted that the "original creative voice" is often absent from Hollywood film adaptations.
Nintendo announced in February 2018 that Universal Studios' subsidiary Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing) had begun planning the animated film. Both Nintendo and Universal Pictures are funding the project, and Universal Pictures will distribute the film worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter both reported in November 2017 that Illumination Entertainment was "close to an agreement" with Nintendo to produce an animated film based on Super Mario Bros., with talks reportedly ongoing for more than a year. At the time of the report, a person with knowledge of the discussions said that the possible agreement could allow Illumination Entertainment to make multiple films based on the franchise, but only one film is currently planned. The report also noted at the time that Illumination Entertainment's Mac Guff studio in Paris would animate the film, and that it was in the early stages of development.
The Buzzfeed website reported in 2014 that Nintendo was in talks with Sony Pictures for film rights to the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The live-action Ghost in the Shell film's producer Avi Arad was linked to the production.
Nintendo is already collaborating with Universal Studios to produce Nintendo attractions for its Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort, and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks. Osaka's Universal Studios Japan began construction of its "Super Nintendo World" attractions in June 2017.
Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel directed the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. film starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper.
The Super Mario 3D All-Stars compilation game will ship for the Nintendo Switch on Friday, while the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury port game will launch on February 12. The Super Mario Maker 2 game launched for the Switch in June 2019. Super Mario Odyssey shipped for the Switch in October 2017 and sold an estimated 2 million copies in the first three days.