Nintendo has been almost exclusively focused on making video games for years now, but we could soon see the company expanding its beloved IP into other spaces. Legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed back in 2015 that Nintendo wants to make movies using their popular characters, and there's no Nintendo character with more brand recognition than Mario himself.
Hot on the heels of the successful launch of Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo is eyeing a return to film for their beloved former plumber. However, unlike the critically panned live-action Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993, Mario's next cinematic appearance is planned to be animated.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is close to reaching a deal with Universal Pictures. Under this deal, Nintendo would partner with production studio Illumination Entertainment on an animated Mario adventure. Illumination is primarily known for bringing the Despicable Me franchise (and its spin-off Minions movie) to life, and they were also behind Hop, Dr. Seuss's The Lorax (2012), The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing.
No other details are available at this time, and Nintendo has not commented on the report. Don't expect them to. There is some cause for skepticism, as the same reporter who penned this story also claimed back in 2015 that Netflix was making a Legend of Zelda series, and that never panned out. That said, the deal makes a lot of sense. Nintendo is already teaming up with Universal Studios on the Super Nintendo World theme park project, and Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently implied that Nintendo's films would be animated.
Source: Wall Street Journal