Nintendo is beginning to finally release its death grip on its IP as it attempts to branch out into new mediums, and one of the biggest steps in that will be a Super Mario movie, which, thanks to a recent earnings call, we have learned is still on track for its 2022 release and coming together quite nicely. During the call, the company zeroed in on the film as one of the ways they’re expanding their brand:
The motion picture project that we are developing in partnership with Illumination, is one of the bigger examples of such projects that we are undertaking. As we have shared previously, production is moving along smoothly aiming for a theatrical release in 2022. This is a project that Nintendo is proactively involved in from its development and production, and we will also own the rights so that the movie can be leveraged for business opportunities.
The movie will be jointly produced by Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director and Fellow at Nintendo, as well as Mr. Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination.
Funding for this movie will be provided by Nintendo and Universal Pictures, and Universal Pictures will also be handling the distribution and promotion of the movie.
Sounds like so far Illumination, the studio that brought us Despicable Me and the Minions, is getting along just fine with its work on the Mario movie. We hadn’t heard much about the movie since its announcement, but this shows that the film is one of the more important non-gaming projects the company is working on at the moment. In fact, with none of the Zelda TV show rumors panning out, it’s the only movie or TV show that we know Nintendo is working on.
It also sounds like Nintendo is making sure the same mistakes that led to the 1993 Super Mario Bros. aren’t made again. While that film definitely has a cult following and its own merits for just how weird it is, Nintendo’s lack of creative control over the movie left a sour taste in the company’s mouth that kept them from moving their powerful IPs outside of the realm of gaming. It’s taken more than 25 years for them to dip their toes back into the franchising water, so it’s good to hear things are going well for the Mario movie and that Miyamoto is heavily involved this time.