Nintendo is reportedly close to signing a deal with feature film animation studio Illumination Entertainment to create a new animated film using the Mario IP.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Illumination has been in talks with Nintendo over the film for more than a year. Other studios have reportedly attempted to buy the rights to a Mario film in this time.
The deal could see Illumination producing several films based on the franchise, though only one is believed to be in development at this time. It is in very early stages and would not be due to release for at least a few years.
Nintendo is said to be concerned that it will not have much creative control over the film. Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, is reportedly in talks to be a producer on the film.
The company will also likely be wary of developing a Mario film after the disastrous Super Mario Bros. movie released in 1993.
There is some precedent for success, however. Illumination is the studio behind the wildly successful Despicable Me and Minions films, so has pedigree in the world of animation. Rovio has also enjoyed strong revenues from its own movie, The Angry Birds Movie, which is set to receive a sequel in 2019.