If you clicked over to this article because you wanted to read about the famous 1993 debacle helmed by Bob Hoskins, then we must regretfully disappoint you. This is not another article about how bad the live-action Super Mario Brothers was. On the other hand, if you happen to have kids, then read on. The people who brought us the Minions are taking a crack at an animated Mario adaptation.
Illumination Entertainment has announced that they’re committed to doing Mario justice. An animated movie, likely targeted at children, is now in the works. Chris Meledandri, founder of Illumination and producer behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, is bringing Mario game designer Shigeru Miyamoto on board to guide the creative process. This implies that the aesthetic of the Mario games will, at least, remain intact. The Hoskins catastrophe’s gritty re-interpretation of Mario’s day-glo world was one of the principal reasons for the 1993 film’s failure; for what it’s worth, Miyamoto was not involved in that production. Pharrell Williams is also on board to collaborate on music, continuing a long-standing partnership with the studio.
If anyone can buck the shudder-worthy legacy of Dinohattan, it’s Illumination. Its recent expansion away from Despicable Me territory hints that it wants to diversify its brand, and it would be difficult to make a worse Mario film than the one that’s already in existence. Partnering with such a well-established property could give Illumination a useful boost, especially if sequels are in the cards. That said, this is still a video game movie and much could go wrong. The studio is giving itself a little time to figure out how to make Mario a hit. Expect to see your favorite red-hatted plumber in theaters in 2022.