Nintendo and Illumination have announced that the Super Mario Bros. animated movie will hit the big screen just in time for Christmas next year. Better yet, the voice cast has also been revealed, and it includes some surprising names, such as Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as Mario and Luigi. A new poster revealing a familiar Question Mark Block also reveals that the movie will arrive just in time for Christmas with a holiday season 2022 release.
A full cast list has been revealed, and it’s a very impressive pool of names. This includes Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) as Peach, Charlie Day (It’s Alway Sunny in Philadelphia), Jack Black (Jumanji franchise) as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) as Toad, Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen (Portlandia) as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson (Teen Titans) as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco (The Irishman) as Foreman Spike.
In the video games, the Mario character has long been voiced by voice actor Charles Martinet. Nintendo has confirmed that the Super Mario Bros. animated movie will feature “surprise cameos” from Martinet, though it’s not clarified what that means exactly. He won’t necessarily be playing the role of Mario with Chris Pratt taking on the red hat, but it should help the longtime Nintendo fans to know that Martinet’s voice will make it into the movie in one way or another.
Perhaps infamously, Super Mario Bros. has previously been adapted as a feature film. In 1993, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo played the brothers in a live-action adventure, though it was much darker than the bright and colorful video game series. It was widely criticized, in part due to how little it had in common with its source material, but it developed a bit of a following in subsequent years. Fans have since restored an extended cut of this original Super Mario Bros. movie which was released online.
Because that first Mario movie was a total bomb at the time, Nintend has been much more careful when it comes to letting Hollywood take a crack at their intellectual properties. This is why there hasn’t been a Super Mario Bros. movie since, and the same can be said for The Legend of Zelda and other popular Nintendo titles. The company will be a bit more hands-on this time with Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto producing and serving “front and center” on the project alongside Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri.
“It’s an ambitious task,” Meledandri previously said of bringing Mario and pals back to the big screen, per Variety. “The challenge is taking things that are so thin in their original form and finding depth that doesn’t compromise what generations of fans love about Mario, but also feels organic to the iconography and can support a three-act structure.”
Super Mario Bros. will be released in North American theaters on Dec. 21, 2022. With a date on the board and the full cast revealed, let’s hope an actual sneak peek at the movie will be revealed in the near future.