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The Mario Bros Movie Is Still Humming Along

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Nintendo can be a frustratingly hard company to read. Instead of walking a predictable line, like most other game companies, they make wild decisions from out of nowhere and rarely explain them. For example, if the NES Classic and the SNES Classic were smash successes, it would stand to reason they should make an N64 Classic. But there’s a possibility we may never actually get one, nor hear the reasons why we can’t get one.

Earlier this year an animated Mario Bros movie was announced, to be brought to life by Illumination Entertainment. We’ve heard nothing about it since, and it’s exactly the kind of project that can be quietly cancelled with no announcement or explanation. Both Nintendo and Hollywood are good at that.

Happily….that’s not the case right now! Variety confirmed in a new interview with Illumination founder Chris Meledandri that the Mario Bros movie is still a live, active project. In fact, he confirmed that Miyamoto himself was still involved.

“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film,” said Meledandri. “I’ve rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto. There’s a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I’ve made that mistake before.” Yes he has.

He admits, though, it’s a tough script to craft. “The challenge is taking things that are so thin in their original form and finding depth that doesn’t compromise what generations of fans love about Mario, but also feels organic to the iconography and can support a three-act structure.” Could be hard, but the movie biz has gotten full trilogies out of thinner material.

We also got a tentative estimation as to when the Mario Bros movie could be done. Variety reports it could be a finished product by 2022.