Illumination and Nintendo have put together a powerhouse voiceover cast for their upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated movie which will hit cinemas on Dec. 21, 2022; that date also being news today.
Playing the fraternal, mushroom digesting plumbers and squashers of turtles are Chris Pratt as Mario and Charlie Day as Luigi. As Princess Peach, it’s Queen’s Gambit and recent Emmy nominee Anya Taylor-Joy. Playing bad guy Bowser is Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. “Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character,” reads this afternoon’s release.
The co-financed feature between Universal and Nintendo will be produced by Illumination Founder and CEO, Chris Meledandri and Representative Director and Fellow of Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto;, and directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who previously collaborated on the animated series Teen Titans Go! and the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. The screenplay of the film will be written by Matthew Fogel, whose credits include The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Illumination feature Minions: The Rise of Gru.
Future offshore release dates will be announced.
“Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date,” said Meledandri who is also an outside director of Nintendo.
“We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game. The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen,” said Miyamoto.
Super Mario Bros. is a huge franchise play for Uni and Illumination. Already, there’s a Super Mario Bros. land open at the Universal Japan theme park with others under construction at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando. The movie has been a long awaited revival for fans. There was a live action movie in 1993 starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as baddie King Koopa. There was also in the late 1980s The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! animated series which starred Captain Lou Albano as the voice of Mario and Danny Wells as the voice of Luigi.
Mario Brothers was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, Nintendo’s chief engineer in 1983. Super Mario Bros. the subseries, was launched in 1985. It is the best-selling video game franchise of all time, with more than 758.06 million copies of games sold, including 388.92 million for the Super Mario games alone.
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