Nintendo fans received an announcement seemingly completely out of left field on Thursday; an announcement involving several huge actors and the company’s most famous intellectual property.
On Sept. 28, video game giant Nintendo held a short “Nintendo Direct” presentation wherein they revealed the production of a Super Mario Bros. animated film.
Expecting news about Bayonetta 3 as well as the final DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which were indeed touched upon, followers of the game company’s antics (i.e. people like me) were stunned when the main announcement of the Direct (and ostensibly the purpose of it) turned out to be a reveal for an upcoming project: a star-studded animated Mario Bros. film.
The movie is to be overseen by Nintendo; Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, is writing the screenplay, with production by Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio responsible for masterpieces like Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3, Minions, and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
The real ado came when Chris Pratt’s face inexplicably appeared on screen. “He’s so cool!” said the announcer before I had the chance to catch my breath from laughter.
While I agree that he is, indeed, cool, I have to wonder why someone wasn’t chosen with a bit more of an Italian-plumber-esque vibe.
Other voice talent revealed at the Direct include: Anya-Taylor Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong (just picturing that voice coming out of a giant ape makes me giggle), Charlie Day as Luigi, Keegan-Michael Key as the mushroom-capped Toad, and Jack Black as the villainous Bowser, with Sebastian Maniscalco, Fred Armisen, and Kevin Michael Richardson rounding out the superstar voice cast.
This isn’t the Mario franchise’s first foray into film. Infamously, 1993’s Super Mario Bros. put a gritty, almost science-fictional spin on the live-action film. Starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi respectively, the project didn’t pan out well in the end; it was a box-office bomb and, even more damningly, a critical failure.
But perhaps people in 1993 just weren’t ready for a Mario movie; perhaps the live-action aspect was a bit too uncanny for viewers; the ‘90s were indeed a strange time, after all. However, with the all-star cast of the upcoming Mario flick in consideration, it sure seems like Nintendo is committed to putting its most beloved IP on the big screen; with a set release date of Dec. 21, 2022, we can only bide our time until the yet-to-be-titled film comes down the pipe.