Shigeru Miyamoto is on board for Illumination's animated Super Mario Bros. movie, which is targeting a 2022 arrival date. The studio behind Despicable Me announced late last year that they were planning to make an animated movie about the iconic plumbers, which has now been put in priority development by Illumination. The plumbers received their own movie back in 1993, but the results were less than enthusiastic upon its release, with many deeming it one of the worst movies ever made. That sentiment has been echoed by the cast and crew who worked on the original Super Mario Bros.

Illumination founder Chris Meledandri likes the idea that the first attempt at a Super Mario Bros. live action movie failed so badly. The producer enjoys a good challenge, and this will certainly be pretty tough to do, especially since the first movie was such a bomb. Meledandri had this to say about bringing Super Mario Bros. to the big screen.

"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."

One of the main reasons that the first Super Mario Bros. movie was so bad was because they didn't have anyone from Nintendo on board to consult. However, this time around, Illumination has brought on franchise creator and Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto to be fully involved in every step pf the creative process. Miyamoto is the man behind Super Mario Bros. as well as some of Nintendo's biggest games. Chris Meledandri explains.

"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."

If anybody can pull of a successful Super Mario Bros. animated movie, it's Illumination and Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario is one of the most beloved video game characters in history, so the process won't be easy, but at least it's in the right hands. Chris Meledandri went on discuss the challenges involved in bringing the plumbers to the big screen again. He had this to say.

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"It's an ambitious task. 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."

Illumination has a great track record with Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, and they are preparing to release their take on The Grinch. It will be very interesting to see how the studio brings the Mushroom Kingdom to life and sets up characters that fans have loved for decades. Thankfully, we won't have to wait very long for the movie to hit theaters. The interview with Illumination's Chris Meledandri was first conducted by Variety.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick