We kick off February with geek movie updates.

Nintendo and Illumination have begun production on an animated film set in the world of Super Mario Bros. The project will be produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the best-selling Mario video game franchise and Representative Director of Nintendo, and Chris Meledandri, Founder and CEO of Illumination. The film is co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo, and Universal will distribute the film worldwide. Details on the title, storyline, and release date are pending. Illumination is behind several lucrative animated features, including the Despicable Me series and Minions (see “'Minions' Jabber Their Way to $115.2 Million”) and The Secret Life of Pets (see “Animation Rules as 'Pets' Spoils 'Ghostbusters' Debut”).

Universal’s adaptation of Cowboy Ninja Viking has a director: Michelle MacLaren, who has previously directed some of the more memorable episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad (via Variety). The film take on A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s Image Comics series was announced in 2014 with Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurrasic World) attached to star (see “Chris Pratt to Star in 'Cowboy Ninja Viking'”). The film is scheduled to debut on June 28, 2019.

Indie darling Suki Waterhouse (Assassination Nation, The Bad Batch) has been added to the cast of Detective Pikachu, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Waterhouse’s character is being kept secret, but she joins a powerhouse cast that includes Ryan Reynolds (Detective Pikachu), Ken Watanabe (Detective Yoshida), Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, and Chris Geere (see “Raimi on 'Kingkiller,' Kirkman and Universal Adapt 'Birthright, ' 'Detective Pikachu' Adds Watanabe”). The film will be in theaters on May 10, 2019.

Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena is in talks to play Duke Nukem in an upcoming big screen adaptation at Paramount reports THR. Platinum Dunes will produce the actioner centered on the muscular, cigar-chomping, alien-fighting video game protagonist, who debuted in 1991. The project is still in search of a director and writer.