Nintendo and Universal in talks for animated Mario Bros. movie

That deal with Universal seems to have led to further opportunities, with The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reporting that a deal is close for a Super Mario Bros. animated movie.

Nintendo is reportedly close to signing a deal with Universal Pictures and French animation studio Illumination to bring iconic video game mascot Mario back to the big screen more than two decades after the plumber's ill-fated big-screen debut.

The Super Mario Brothers series has shifted over 330 million units total for Ninitendo in the years since it first landed on consoles in the 1980s, so it's no surprise that a new film is in the offing. Said projects include an animated series based on The Legend of Zelda.

Nintendo's now taking steps to make Mario's friendly face more recognizable outside his games, but this is the first we've heard about a movie in quite some time.

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According to industry heads, Illumination has been in talks with Nintendo for over a year.

Illumination, which is behind the Despicable Me franchise and subsequent spin-offs, declined to comment.

While its live-action status did afford us the chance to watch the great Bob Hoskins prance around the screen as Mario, the movie was plagued with freaky departures from the elements of the Mario franchise we commonly associate with the beloved gaming series. There's yet to be any official word from Nintendo or Illumination on the deal: Neither side is answering questions.

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