Gaming giant Nintendo has announced that it is teaming up with Illumination Entertainment to bring Mario and pals to the big screen. The animated movie project, which was first rumored last November, has no release date and is reportedly in the very early stages of production.

The news was first confirmed in a tweet (below) by the official Nintendo of America account on Wednesday (31st January), which read: “Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri!”

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Meledandri is the founder and current CEO of Illumination Entertainment, an animation studio which is best known for its smash hit Despicable Me franchise and its spin-off film, Minions.

Miyamoto, meanwhile, is widely renowned as a video game industry legend having created Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and many other classic franchises during his four-decade-long tenure at Nintendo.

The project represents a landmark licensing agreement between the two companies, and is arguably the highest-profile video game movie crossover to date.

Not counting the various spin-off games, the Super Mario franchise alone boasts sales of over 330 million unit making it the most successful gaming series of all time. The most recent Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch, has shipped 9.07 million copies since its launch last October.

A notoriously bad live action, Bob Hoskins-starring Super Mario Bros movie was released back in 1993, but the less said about that the better. It’s taken a while, but Nintendo is finally ready to bring its iconic mascot, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom, back to the silver screen.

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