Illumination Co-Founder Likes that the Original Super Mario Bros. Movie Wasn’t Good

All the way back in January, Nintendo revealed that it was collaborating with Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio best known for the Despicable Me series, on a Super Mario Bros. movie. Almost nothing new has been heard about this animated movie since; fortunately, Illumination Entertainment Co-Founder Chris Meledandri shed a bit more light on the project today in an interview with Variety.

While the movie’s premise and cast have still not been revealed, Chris Meledandri did voice that he was relieved by the fact that the original Super Mario Bros. is bad, infamously so. As you probably know, the Super Mario Bros. movie from the 1990s was riddled with production problems and ended up with a script so far-gone from the source material that it was laughable.

Because the original Super Mario Bros. movie was so bad, Chris Meledandri says that the development of Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. is much more “exciting” and “worthy” because they aren’t working in the shadow of a critically acclaimed classic:

“I like that this was not done well the first time. I think that’s more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with.”

Chris Melendandri was also able to confirm that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto is heavily involved in the development of the Super Mario Bros. animated movie. He believes they are involving Miyamoto much more than creators of adapted properties are within the film industry. Chris claims to have worked on adaptions that didn’t involve creators much before, giving his claim some more credibility.

Ultimately, it does seem like Chris Melendandri and Illumination Entertainment are aware of the high expectations for their Super Mario Bros. animated film and hopes to meet them. While the movie is poised to have a bit more depth than the usual Mario plot, he still seems to believe that Illumination is retaining the elements of Super Mario Bros. fans love in their movie:

“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film. 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.”

While the Super Mario Bros. movie still has no official release date, Chirs Melendandri did tell Variety that it is in “priority development” and could possibly be in theaters by 2022. Hopefully, their animated movie is much, much better than the last Super Mario Bros. film and sparks interest in adaptions of other Nintendo properties, like a Metroid movie starring Brie Larson as Samus.


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