Super Mario, a character from Nintendo become a global video game icon, is preparing to make the leap into the world of animation, said Thursday the Japanese group.

Shigeru Miyamoto, emblematic creator of the mustache plumber’s saga Super Mario Bros, is currently working on this project in collaboration with Chris Meledandri, founder and president of the American studio Illumination Entertainment, known for the hit series Despicable Me and the production Secret Life of Pets.

“People told me that making a game and making a movie were two similar things, but it’s completely different,” Miyamoto told a news conference in Tokyo.

“One is interactive and the other is a passive experience,” continued the creator, who himself has already made short films.

“I get on well” with Chris Meledandri, “an experienced producer,” he said. “But it took two years between the time we decided to work together and the official announcement.”

The project is well advanced, but the release date has not yet been decided. “We have discussed the script many times and we have made good progress,” said Shigeru Miyamoto.

The film will be co-financed by Nintendo and Universal Pictures.

This announcement was made the day after the Kyoto firm published solid quarterly results thanks to the success of its new Switch console, semi-portable semi-fixed, and associated games with featured Super Mario Odyssey, which was sold more than nine million copies since its debut in October.

Nintendo has also recently launched mobile apps after long reluctant to take the plunge. The diversification towards the animation aims in the same way to further promote its star characters and to attract new players.

Super Mario was filmed in Hollywood in 1993, but had a very limited success at the box office.