Nintendo, Illumination (animation studio behind Despicable Me), and Universal Pictures have been developing an animated film based on the iconic Super Mario Bros. video game franchise.
Yesterday, Nintendo made huge waves by announcing the film’s voice cast lineup and a December 21, 2022 release date. The former news seemingly landed a negative reaction, mainly, with Marvel actor Chris Pratt voicing Mario. Pratt previously lending his voice to Pixar’s Onward and the two LEGO movies from Warner Bros., the first installment being a mega hit.
As you can see below, Illumination has hired seasoned actors that have done voice work for animation before.
- Chris Pratt as Mario
- Anya Taylor-Joy as 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
- Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike
- Surprise Cameos From Charles Martinet (Mario voice actor)
Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies) are directing from script penned by screenwriter Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise of Gru).
Illumination founder Chris Meledandri and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto are also producing the project.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if a Donkey Kong movie starring Seth Rogen is announced between now and Mario’s release in late 2022, given how popular that Nintendo character is and how Illumination has been handling spinoffs with the Minion movies.
Chris Pratt’s next big feature for Universal Pictures will be Jurassic World: Dominion, the third installment in the Jurassic World trilogy and sixth in the larger Jurassic Park franchise, which might have a part in why the actor was selected for the role. This fall he’ll reunite with writer/director James Gunn for Marvel’s long-delayed Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.3.
Mario has had other non-video game counterparts in the past with live-action and animated versions on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and with the box office flop feature film Super Mario Brothers: The Movie led by Bob Hoskins.