You may remember that Nintendo recently announced an upcoming animated movie starring Super Mario in partnership with Illumination - the film studio behind Despicable Me (and Minions), 2016's Sing, The Secret Life of Pets, and many more.
This partnership has triggered an awful lot of debate; while some fans are completely behind the idea of the project, many have voiced concerns over how Mario will be handled and how his existence will successfully translate to the big screen. We recently discussed this very topic over on YouTube, hoping to make sense of it all and contemplate how a new animated Mario film might play out.
For anyone on the fence about the decision, or indeed anyone who is completely against it for one reason or another, you may be interested to hear why Miyamoto-san decided to partner up with the studio. The following was taken from a recent investor Q&A:
"I’ve been considering an animated film for many years now. There has long been talk that Nintendo could make a movie because “making a game is like making a movie.” But they are completely different to me. Interactive experiences are completely different from non-interactive media, and to make a movie I want a film expert to do the work. Thinking that way, I have talked with all sorts of different movie directors and producers, and eventually I was introduced to Illumination via Universal Parks & Resorts, with whom we are developing theme park attractions.
As a producer, Chris Meledandri (Illumination’s CEO) is noted here for movies like Minions and Sing, but he is a veteran with a ton of experience, including the movie Ice Age and stints at companies like 20th Century Fox Animation. When I talked with Chris, he said he had read a lot of interviews with me and felt we had a similar approach to creation. Talking about our similarities, we clicked and decided maybe we should do some kind of collaboration. We started our conversation over two years ago, and finally reached the stage where we could make an announcement. Chris is extremely cost-conscious and time-conscious in his quest to make successful movies. We decided to try making a movie together, and distributing the completed movie globally through Universal Pictures."
It certainly feels like Miyamoto and the team have complete faith in the partnership, and the similar mindset shared between him and Chris Meledandri could be vital if we hope to see a faithful and interesting take on Mario's world. Should things not go to plan, however, the duo have already agreed to nip it in the bud.
"We’ve talked together and share the feeling that if we can’t make something interesting we’ll just call it quits. But we’ve already met a number of times to hash out the screenplay, our talks together are progressing, and I hope to make an announcement once we’ve ironed out some things like the schedule."
Has this helped to reassure you that the movie could end up being the stuff of dreams, or were you already optimistic to begin with? As ever, let us know your thoughts below.