The day many thought would never come has arrived. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo has made a deal with Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio that makes the Despicable Me movies (as well as recent hits Sing and The Secret Life of Pets) to do an animated Mario movie.
According to the report, the companies have been in negotiations for a year and the fact Universal (which finances and distributes Illumination’s movie) has partnered with Nintendo for several theme parks was helpful. Right now, the deal is one for one movie, but there is potential for more.
Of course, Nintendo is almost laughably protective of their intellectual properties, especially after the disastrous 1993 live action Super Mario Bros. movie. They’ve made Pokémon movies but, beyond that, rumors of movies based on Mario and The Legend of Zelda have been around for years. This is the vide game company’s first big move forward in a long time, and the implications are extremely significant.
The animated Super Mario Bros. film is currently in “early development,” which doesn’t mean much. Animated films, especially ones as important as this, tend to take a long time to make, so don’t even bother to start holding your breath yet. But still... wow.