New animated 'Super Mario Bros' movie on the way in 2022

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2 mins read
'Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'. (Credit: Nintendo)
'Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'. (Credit: Nintendo)

Almost 30 years after it became the blockbuster the world wishes it could forget, Super Mario Bros is returning to the big screen in 2022.

Nintendo is collaborating with Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures to bring the iconic Italian plumber back to the big screen in a CG-animated movie.

Now, as per a corporate presentation reported by Film Stories, the games company has revealed that the film is working towards a 2022 release date.

Read more: Tetris movie will be first part of a trilogy

Nintendo said “production is moving ahead smoothly” on the new movie, with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto involved as co-producer alongside Illumination boss Chris Meledandri.

Promotional art showing Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo in 1993 movie 'Super Mario Bros'. (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)
Promotional art showing Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo in 1993 movie 'Super Mario Bros'. (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Super Mario Bros previously graced cinemas via the 1993 live-action movie, which featured Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as his brother Luigi.

The film was a huge critical and commercial failure, often considered to be among the worst cinematic adaptations of a video game property.

It brought in just $21m (£16m) in the USA, with worldwide grosses not adding enough cash to earn back the $42m (£32m) budget.

Read more: Movie productions that ran out of money

Hoskins repeatedly expressed his sadness and disappointment about the movie, describing it in a 2007 interview as “the worst thing I ever did".

He added: “It was a f***ing nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team [Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel] directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent.”

John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins in 'Super Mario Bros'. (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)
John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins in 'Super Mario Bros'. (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Away from Mario, Nintendo also revealed it is working on other TV and film adaptations of its properties.

The presentation said the company has "embarked on multiple other visual content expansion projects", which is presumably corporate speak for TV and films.

Read more: Sonic breaks box office records for video game movies

Given the box office clout of Sonic the Hedgehog — a creation of rival games company Sega — earlier this year, Nintendo will be eyeing up a bigger slice of the video game movie pie this around.

Nintendo has already achieved one success on the big screen in the shape of Detective Pikachu, which leveraged the Pokémon brand to the tune of $433m (£334m) worldwide and positive reviews.