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The New Mario Movie Is Happening Because Illumination CEO Told Miyamoto About His Failures

In a recent interview, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has opened up about why he's willing to trust Illumination with the iconic character.


The Mario movie currently in the works at Illumination is still a while away, as it's due to release in 2022. Nintendo has been protective of its characters following 1993's disastrous live-action Super Mario Bros movie, which was an enormous flop that has since achieved cult status. Now, in a new interview, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has opened up about why Nintendo has partnered with Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions) for their upcoming animated film.

Shigeru Miyamoto, who is signed on to produce the new movie, spoke to Famitsu about the movie, and a portion of their discussion was translated by Nintendo Everything. In the interview, Miyamoto recalls meeting with Chris Meledandri, the CEO of Illumination. There was one specific thing that made Miyamoto trust the man, and it wasn't because of the success of their films.

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Now Playing: Minions: The Rise Of Gru (2020) - Official Trailer

"When we started our partnership with Universal, I heard that the CEO of Illumination, Chris Meledandri, wanted to meet with me," Miyamoto says. "I didn’t know what kind of angle he was getting at, but I’ll never forget when he talked to me about why he had failed before."

According to Miyamoto, he started to feel like he could trust Meledandri when he spoke about these failures, and it convinced him that Nintendo could work with Illumination. "That was right around the time I was considering movies, so we decided to have him do the animation for us," he said.

Asked to expound on the failure Meledandri talked about, Miyamoto simply responded "can't say," before laughing.

Nintendo is collaborating with Universal to open a theme park in Tokyo and Orlando. Illumination's next film is the Despicable Me prequel Minions: The Rise of Gru. No director is officially attached to the Mario movie yet.

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