An animated Super Mario film from Illumination (Minions, Despicable me) has just been announced on today’s Nintendo Direct stream. It is set for release in 2022 and boasts a star-studded cast that includes Chris Pratt, Jack Black and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Super Mario has a troubled history when it comes to film adaptations. The live-action 1993 film was a massive failure critically and commercially, despite a truck load of funding from Hollywood and the manic pull of Dennis Hopper playing Bowser.
Despite that lacklustre attempt we can can’t help but speculate this Super Mario film will get a lot more right. Not only is the film animated, which feels a much better fit for the character than live-action, but the studio that’s in charge of development is extremely solid.
Illumination is the American animation studio behind mega hits Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets and everyone’s favourite yellow rascals – Minions. They understand exactly what it takes to make a film that appeals to children, as well as the adults that are inevitably accompanying them to the cinema. Nintendo should be chuffed they’ve nailed down the perfect collaborator.
Similarly impressive, yet perhaps a little more leftfield, is the cast of actors that have been attached to the project. Chris Pratt will be voicing everyone’s favourite plumber in the Super Mario film – so he better brush up on his faux Italian accent.
Charlie Day (Always Sunny in Philadelphia) will the titular character’s brother Luigi, while Anya Taylor-Joy will add some razzle dazzle to the role of Princess Peach.
All solid choices in my opinion. However, the cast members that will likely elicit the most excitement are none other than the bearded comedic duo of Jack Black and Seth Rogen. Black takes on the role of the biggest and baddest villain in the Super Mario film – Bowser.
Seth Rogen will reportedly have a smaller part as the infamous Donkey Kong, who despite his transformation into a hero started life as Mario’s first adversary. Which side he is on in this Super Mario film is anyone’s guess, but I’d love to see a little chemistry between him and Jack Black.
Also appearing in the film are Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong) and Sebastian Maniscalo (Spike).
Finally, but certainly not least, Charles Martinet – who has voiced Mario in many of the Super Mario video games – will be making a number of special cameo appearances. And that is pretty much all that information that is currently available
The Super Mario film is scheduled for release in North America on December 21 2022. Other regions’ specific release dates are yet to be officially confirmed.