Almost thirty years after the critically-panned live-action Super Mario Bros. film was released, another film adaptation based on the popular video game is coming and this time it will be in animated form. Now, we know who is going to voice the popular Nintendo character.
During the recent Nintendo Direct presentation, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto announced that no other than Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt will be the voice of Mario in the upcoming animated film. Also joining the cast are The Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy (as Princess Peach), Charlie Day (as Luigi), Jack Black (as Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (as Toad), Seth Rogen (as Donkey Kong), and Fred Armisen (as Cranky Kong). Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario in the video games, will also make an appearance in "surprise cameos."
Teen Titans Go! developers Michael Jenelic and Aaron Horvath will direct the film. Miyamoto is also involved as one of the producers. The film will be a co-production between Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, and Nintendo, with Universal Pictures set as the distributor.
Pratt seemed like an odd choice as the voice of Mario. It's hard to imagine him voicing the character unless he will do a radical voice change in order to suit better. There also seems to be an internet backlash regarding the casting, with a lot of people dumbfounded by the news. However, Pratt has voiced in animated films before such as The Lego Movie so there is still a reason to believe that he will deliver on voicing the role.
The casting of Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach is inspired though as well as Rogen as Donkey Kong, which really sounds like a fun and hilarious idea. Imagine Donkey Kong with that iconic Rogen laugh. Black is also a great choice as Bowser and he might also end up as a funny character as well even though he is traditionally an antagonist. It is curious to see what the film will look like and how they will translate the Super Mario Bros. narrative into an animated family film. We shall find out soon.
The untitled Mario animated film is set to be released in theaters on December 21, 2022.