The Super Mario Bros. animated movie is powering up with an all-star voice cast led by Chris Pratt as the iconic Nintendo character. It now has a North American release date of Dec. 21, 2022.
Joining Pratt as Mario are Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach) Charlie Day (Luigi), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek) and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike).
The Super Mario Bros. film hails from Nintendo and Illumination, with Universal distributing in North America and co-financing with Illumination. Its international rollout will be announced at a later date. The video game giant shared the news during Thursday’s Nintendo Direct presentation.
Illumination founder Chris Meledandri and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary creator of Mario, will produce the film. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the duo behind Teen Titans Go! and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, are directing, while The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and Minions: The Rise of Gru screenwriter Matthew Fogel penned the script.
“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,” said Meledandri in a statement.
“We are collaborating with Chris [Meledandri] 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,” said Miyamoto in a statement. “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.”
Mario first appeared as the protagonist in 1981’s Donkey Kong and first headlined his own game in 1985’s Super Mario Bros. It followed mustachioed plumber Mario and his lanky brother, Luigi, in their quest to save Princess Peach from villain Bowser.
Mario and Luigi infamously appeared in the ill-fated 1993 live-action film Super Mario Bros starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. Since then, Nintendo has been extremely protective of its IP and rarely allowed it to be adapted by Hollywood, making the new animated Super Mario Bros. movie all the more anticipated. Development on the project dates back to 2017.