Recap: Are you old enough to remember the first movie based on a video game? Many kids of the early nineties were hugely excited by the prospect of seeing a live-action Super Mario Bros. on the big screen, only to find its deviation from the source material confusing and disappointing, setting a trend that would endure to this day. But here's some good news for Mario fans: the plumber is once again getting the movie treatment, and this time he'll be played by the first person you think of when imagining a short, rotund Italian: Chris Pratt.
The new Mario feature is, of course, an animated movie, so Star-Lord isn't going to be taking on the part of the late Bob Hoskins by running around in blue overalls and a red hat. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealed at Nintendo Direct that the full-length feature from Illumination studios will land on December 21, 2022.
The animation has quite a cast. In addition to Pratt, Princess Peach will be voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy, best known for The Queen's Gambit. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day takes on the role of Luigi, Jack Black will be Bowser, and Keegan-Michael Key will voice Toad. Expect to hear Donkey Kong emit Seth Rogan's stoner-like laugh, Fred Armisen will be Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson (the new Dr. Hibbert from The Simpsons) will be Kamek, and Spike is to be voiced by Sebastian Maniscalco.
Additionally, Charles Martinet, who has voiced Mario, Luigi, and Waluigi, will appear in "surprise cameos" in the movie.
Illumination is best known for the Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets films, and the Mario animation's directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, are behind the Teen Titans Go! show and its movie, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies.
This will be Nintendo's first major film release since 1993's Super Mario Bros., a movie with a production so chaotic, Hoskins and John Leguizamo (Luigi) spent much of their time on set drunk as a way of coping. Hoskins called it "the worst thing I ever did… the whole experience was a nightmare." It was a critical and commercial flop, not helped by the fact it opened two weeks before Jurassic Park.