Mario already has a beloved voice, but the Italian plumber is getting a new one for the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. movie in development from Nintendo and Universal's Illumination. Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt will voice Mario in the movie, co-financed by the two companies. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who both worked on Teen Titans Go! and Teen Titans Go to the Movies. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day will voice Mario's taller brother, Luigi.
Universal and Nintendo put together an all-star supporting cast behind Pratt and Day. Anya Taylor-Joy will play Princess Peach, while Jack Black will voice the villain Bowser. Seth Rogen is playing Donkey Kong, while Keegan-Michael Key voices Toad. Fred Armisen was cast as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. Charles Martinet, who has voiced Mario and Luigi in the Nintendo games since the early 1990s, will make "cameos" in the movie, according to Nintendo and Illumination.
"Here we go!"— Illumination (@illumination) September 23, 2021
Chris Pratt as Mario
Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach
Charlie Day as Luigi
Jack Black as Bowser
Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong
Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong
Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek
Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike
Cameos from Charles Martinet pic.twitter.com/Yio2pql1Jy
The Super Mario Bros. movie will hit theaters on Dec. 21, 2022. Matthew Gorel, who worked on The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Minions: The Rise of Gru, wrote the script. The plot for the movie is under wraps, but it will likely involve sewer tubes, question-mark blocks, annoying turtles with wings and really scary blocks with lines of fire coming from them.
"Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date," producer Chris Meledandri said during the Nintendo Direct streaming event Thursday, reports Variety. Shigeru Miyamoto is producing for Nintendo.
Sensing that some fans might wonder why Nintendo needs a new voice for Mario, Miyamoto assured fans that Pratt is prepared. "We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game," he said.
"The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen."
This is hardly the first time Mario has been adapted for another medium. There have been plenty of animated TV series and anime based on the plumber's adventures. In 1986, Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! was released to Japanese theaters, making it the first movie based on a video game. In 1993, Disney's Buena Vista Pictures released Super Mario Bros., a live-action movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the title brothers. The movie was a box office bomb, but now has a cult following.