Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment have reached an agreement to produce an animated movie inspired by Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario franchise, according to Variety. The film about the iconic plumbers Mario and Luigi is now in the early stages of production. Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri are co-producing the project, according to a tweet from Nintendo of America.
Miyamoto created Mario in 1981, and is also known as the creator of some of Nintendo’s other most successful franchises including Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. Meledandri is the co-owner of Illumination Entertainment with Universal Studios. He’s previously produced films like the Despicable Me series, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, and Ice Age. The film is going to be animated by Illumination’s Mac Guff studio in Paris and is expected to take a few years to complete.
Since his creation, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games and sold more than 500 units worldwide, many of them being some of the best-selling video games of all time. In nearly four decades onscreen, the Mario Bros. have worked as plumbers, professional go-kart racers, princess-rescuers, tennis players, and many other roles. It’s unclear what kind of tasks Mario and Luigi will face in this new animated film, or if their age-old nemesis Bowser will make an appearance.
This isn’t the first time someone has done a film from the Mario franchise. In 1993, Nintendo agreed to a live-action Super Mario Bros. that starred Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper. The movie performed poorly at the box office and terribly with critics.