Details Emerge On Illumination And Nintendo's Animated 'Super Mario Bros.' Movie

The Super Mario Bros. movie released in 1993 wasn't just a disaster, it became a running punchline that lasts to this very day. It set the bar for video game movies so low that Nintendo didn't even dare make another attempt at a big screen effort, for fear of somehow doing worse. So it was a surprise to learn earlier this year that Nintendo was teaming up with Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, for an animated Super Mario Bros. movie, and now new details have emerged on what it will entail.

Illumination founder Chris Meledandri, who finds himself very busy lately, spoke with Variety and says he's excited for the challenge of improving upon the previous movie.

“I like that this was not done well the first time,” he said. “I think that’s more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with.”

Meledandri adds that a big difference this time around is that they are working really closely with Mario creator and Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto to do the story of two Italian brothers who must save Princess Peach from the evil Bowser's clutches.

“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film,” said Meledandri. “I’ve rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto. There’s a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I’ve made that mistake before.”

The Mario franchise has undergone some drastic changes since that 1993 movie. While Mario will certainly be the centerpiece, his brother Luigi has grown in prominence and even has his own series of games. Dozens of other characters have been introduced, as well, that could be part of the movie. And the story has grown well beyond just rescuing the Princess from Bowser, so the story could be pretty much anything.

Super Mario Bros. is expected to arrive sometime in 2022.