Get ready to return to the Mushroom Kingdom as Super Mario Bros is headed back to cinemas with a new animated adaptation from the studio behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets – and an all-star cast.
News broke back in 2017 that Illumination Entertainment was pursuing a deal with Nintendo to make a film based on their video game franchise, but little had been said about the project until a Nintendo Direct presentation broadcast yesterday.
In a three-minute segment, Mario's creator and legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto appeared to announce a North American release date of Wednesday 21st December 2022 as well as revealing an A-list voice cast.
“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,” he added in a statement.
Nintendo has been protective of its video game franchises since 1993's live-action Super Mario Bros movie proved to be an epic critical and commercial bomb, with Miyamoto taking a producer role on this second attempt to improve its chances of success.
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The cast assembled for the project has had no trouble drumming up anticipation – read on for details.
Super Mario movie cast
Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World star Chris Pratt takes the lead role as (Super) Mario, a plumber known for his adventures across the Mushroom Kingdom, which usually involve rescuing his beloved Princess Peach.
Peach will be voiced by The Queen's Gambit breakout star Anya Taylor-Joy, with Miyamoto promising a "very spirited" incarnation of the character, suggesting she may ditch the damsel in distress persona she has historically had.
Mario's original nemesis Donkey Kong, who has since taken on more heroic roles in his own spin-off series, will also appear in the film as voiced by Seth Rogen (The Lion King).
His ape relative Cranky Kong will be voiced by Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen, while Keegan-Michael Key (Jingle Jangle) has been cast as the movie's principal Toad, one of a species native to the Mushroom Kingdom who are allies to Mario and Peach.
Miyamoto has also promised "surprise cameos" for voice actor Charles Martinet, who has voiced Mario as well as other characters from the franchise, in more than a hundred games since 1992.