New ‘Super Mario Bros.’ World Animated Movie in the Works From Illumination, Nintendo

Illumination and Nintendo will join forces to produce a new animated film based on the world of Super Mario Bros.

The companies previously partnered on last year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which grossed more than $1.3 billion and became the second highest-grossing movie of 2023. It’s unclear which fanciful characters the new film will focus on — be they plumbers, princesses, Koopas or other residents of the Mushroom Kingdom — and the partners are not using the word “sequel.” However, the companies did specify that the movie will be released in theaters on April 3, 2026, in the U.S. and additional markets globally. It will be unveiled in other territories throughout April.

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The film will be produced by Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, and Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director and fellow of Nintendo and one of the most famous figures in gaming. The close collaboration between the filmmakers and Miyamoto is one of the reasons that “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was seen by fans as remaining true to the essence of what made the video games so popular. That was in stark contrast with the 1993 live-action “Mario” adaptation, which was panned and became a box office bomb.

The animated follow-up will be directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who oversaw “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” It will be written by Matthew Fogel, who penned the script for that film. The yet-to-be-titled installment will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and distributed theatrically worldwide by Universal Pictures.

Illumination is one of the most successful forces in animation, producing hits like the “Despicable Me” series, as well as “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” and “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing” films. Its next film is “Despicable Me 4,” which will be released in theaters on July 3.

Nintendo’s games include “Donkey Kong,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Metroid” and “Splatoon.” Nintendo has sold more than 5.6 billion video games and over 800 million hardware units globally.

News of the next “Mario Bros.” film broke on “Mario Day,” an annual celebration that Nintendo uses to offer deals on games and devices, with Meledandri and Miyamoto announcing the development of the latest movie in a joint video.

“It’ll have a bright and fun story,” Miyamoto teased. “This time we’re thinking about broadening Mario’s world further.”

But as for how that expansion might manifest, well Miyamoto would only say, “We’ll let you know once we’re at the stage where we’re ready to share more.”

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