Chris Pratt, Anya-Taylor Joy, and Jack Black join cast of animated Mario film

The classic Nintendo game is leveling up from computer screens to the big screen.

Chris Pratt, Anya-Taylor Joy, and Jack Black join cast of animated Mario film
(Images: Matt Winkelmeyer, David Livingston, Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Randy Shropshire/Getty)

Following in the footsteps of famed video games getting movie adaptations, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. is now bound for the big screen, and it’s enlisted big names to enter the voice recording booth.

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt and Pacific Rim’s Charlie Day are set to portray the titular game protagonist Mario and his brother Luigi, a pair of mustachioed plumbers thrust into several fantasy worlds filled with wild foes. In the classic Nintendo game, they progress through these worlds to reach the last level where they must defeat the final boss, Bowser, voiced in the imminent movie by Jack Black, to rescue the distressed Princess Peach, played by Anya Taylor-Joy

But that’s not where the stellar casting stops. Joining the fray are Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Princess Peach’s loyal subject, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong. Rounding up the cast are Kevin Michael Richardson and Sebastian Maniscalco as Bowser’s quintessential cohorts Kamek and Spike, respectively. 

The pair of Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go! The Movies) will steer the film, which will simply be called Mario, based on a script by Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part). Universal Pictures is set to distribute the film, with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary creator of Mario, and Chris Meledandri through his Illumination animation studio in charge of production. 

“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 during the announcement of the project at the Nintendo Direct streaming event last Thursday.

Mario first appeared as the player character in the platform game Donkey Kong, released in 1981. He only began to star in his own games in 1985 with the immortal game Super Mario Bros., a unit so sought after that it bagged $1.5 million during an auction last July.

Mario jumps into theaters on December 21, 2022.

Art Daniella Sison


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