'The Super Mario Bros. Movie': Release Date, Trailer, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far – Collider

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The pipe sliding plumbers are back on the big screen–wahoo!
For almost 40 years, Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. has persevered as an ambassador for the gaming world. Their Red and Green overalls and hats only mean one thing—Mario and Luigi. These goomba stompin’, fireball tossin’, pipe slidin’ Italian plumbers originally hail from the platformer genre. In fact, they’re pioneers and trendsetters who continually evolve with the standard set by modern design and technology. They’ve crept their way into party games, fighting games, RPGs, racers, several sports titles, and more on their path to global reverence.
Mario as a commercial IP exists on a scale somewhere between comic book characters and Pokemon. Gamers, for the most part, eat it up too. Nintendo sells entire consol generations on first-party IPs that see a release or two per cycle, careful not to inundate fans with yearly sequels. They’ve taken extreme caution in adapting their characters for screen after the commercial failure of their live-action attempt at the Super Mario Bros in 1993—which actually kinda rips. Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and John Leguizamo donned the hats and battled King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) as Mario and Luigi, but the Paul Verhoven action aesthetic didn’t grab fans the way that the colorful and charming gaming world of the Mushroom Kingdom did. Just shy of thirty years later, and Nintendo is stepping up to bat again, this time with an animated adaptation.
In 2018, Nintendo and Illumination announced The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which will be the iconic Italian plumber's very first animated movie. Illumination is the studio responsible for the family-friendly animated films Despicable Me, Dr. SeussThe Lorax, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, and their sequels. Fans had to wait another three years before more information dropped during 2021’s September Nintendo Direct—Nintendo’s method of disseminating information surrounding upcoming products through presentations. Questions, concerns, and memes immediately followed so let’s break down everything we know about The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Editor's Note: This piece was updated on November 21
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During 2021’s September Nintendo Direct, Nintendo Representative Director and the creator of Mario himself, Shigeru Miyamoto announced the release date and casting details that set the internet on fire.
Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) is everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber, Mario. Considering Mario has traditionally been voiced by Charles Martinet, who is set to play several characters who inhabit the big-screen adaptation of the Mushroom Kingdom, news of Pratt’s casting stunned just about everyone. He shared a video on his Instagram detailing his long-standing love affair with Super Mario Bros., and his excitement and commitment to the project. “It’sa me,” he jokingly said with a hint of a New York Italian-American accent before saying, “that’s not the voice, you’ll have to wait to hear the voice, but we’ve been working hard at it.”
Charlie Day (Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is set to star as Mario’s brother, Luigi. Luigi’s more clumsy, frantic, oddball nature suits the wildcard of It’s Always Sunny. No stranger to animated fare, Day has previously voiced characters in The Lego Movie and its sequel (which also starred Chris Pratt), and Monsters University.
Anya TaylorJoy is the animated Princess Peach. In an interview with ExtraTV, Joy said,
“It’s so much fun. I have unlimited amounts of respect for all of the work that goes into it because these artists are just incredible.”
Time will tell if Princess Peach will serve as more than the damsel in distress, her typical role in each Mario Bros. installment.
In a universally praised casting move, Bowser will be played by comedy icon Jack Black. His dynamic voice and excitement to step into the spiked shell of King Koopa make him an ideal candidate for the role. When Consequence chatted with Tenacious D, Jack Black’s comedic rock n’ roll band with Kyle Gass, Jack Black expanded on his relationship to the franchise,
“Am I a Mario Bros. fan? Dude, I go way back. Okay? I go Donkey Kong. I was there when Nintendo was in short pants…The main thing is, hey Pratt Pratt, I’m coming for you. Yeah, Bowser’s gonna eat you up whole. I’mma barbecue you, and then eat you. *munching sounds* Barbecue chicken! *slurp*”
Fellow comedy icons Fred Armisen (Portlandia), KeeganMichael Key (Key and Peele), Sebastian Maniscalco (Green Book), and Seth Rogen join the Mushroom Kingdom as Cranky Kong, Toad, Spike, and Donkey Kong respectively.
Rounding out the cast is VO legend Kenneth Michael Richardson as Kamek, the Magikoopa, and the aforementioned Charles Martinet voicing several characters.
Image via Universal
Traditionally, Super Mario Bros. sees Mario and Luigi on a quest to save Princess Peach from the clutches of the fire-breathing King Koopa, Bowser. The inclusion of part of the Kong family suggests an attempt at fleshing out the world outside of Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Lair. No official story details are available at this time, but the movie is being written by Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) with Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go! To The Movies) and Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) directing. In a conversation with Variety, Illumination's own Chris Meledandri spoke about the studio’s commitment to Miyamoto’s vision, saying,
“We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film. I’ve rarely seen that happen in any adaptation where the original creative voice is embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto.”
All of those creators combined suggest a movie strongly aimed at children.
The official synopsis from Universal doesn't reveal much:
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Illuminations’s Minions: The Rise of Gru), the film stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess 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 and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
The film is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo. The film will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and released worldwide by Universal Pictures.
Brian Tyler, who has worked on the scores for films and shows such as Yellowstone, the Fast and Furious franchise, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, composed the film's score with some help from franchise staple Koji Kondo.
The first teaser trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released on October 6, 2022, during the film's panel at New York Comic Con. In the trailer, we get our introduction of Jack Black's take on Bowser, as he and his army of Koopas invade an icy kingdom ruled by Penguins in order to steal the invincibility star (an item many both rapid Mario fans and casual MarioKart players will know). The trailer then cuts to Chris Pratt's Mario landing in the Mushroom Kingdom for the very first time and meeting Toad, who leads him to Peach's castle, as they bounce off of mushrooms. The trailer then ends with Charlie Day's Luigi being chased by a swarm of Dry Bones, seeking refuge in a spooky-looking mansion, Luigi's Mansion, anyone? Alas, the trailer doesn't show anything beyond that, so we'll have to wait a bit longer to see and hear Seth Rogen's take on Donkey Kong or Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach.
Related:New ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Images Reveal Bowser, Toad, Luigi and Mario
When Shigeru Miyamoto announced the cast list in September, he also told viewers the movie, at the time, was expected to drop on December 21, 2022, in the United States of America, and sometime over the holiday season, 2022, everywhere else. Though back in April 2023, it was revealed that the film was being delayed to April 7, 2023, in the US, over the Easter holiday, and April 28, 2023, in Japan. This move was likely made to avoid competition with Avatar: The Way of Water, which is sure to be a juggernaut over the holiday season.
For more Super Mario Bros., check out the original live-action adaptation, if you haven’t, or check out the fan-made restoration that reinserts 20 minutes of cut material back into the film. Visit the Nintendo eshop on any Nintendo system with internet support and immerse yourself in the Mushroom Kingdom with any of the dozens of Mario Bros. titles and spin-offs before the film comes out. And keep checking back at Collider for more information on everyone’s favorite plumbers’ new trip to the big screen.
Drake Lupton is a feature writer who loves movies, games, music, comic books, sports, and esports. He has had the privilege to write about games and esports for separate publications, but he’s thrilled to contribute to the conversations surrounding film and television happening at Collider. He encourages anyone looking for something to watch to follow his Twitter account for near-constant chronicling of recently visited cinema.


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