Industry legend and creator of the Mario franchise Shigeru Miyamoto interrupted last night’s Nintendo Direct to announce the English voice cast of Illumination’s upcoming animated Mario film. Set to release in the US on 21 December 2022, the actors included in the film will be:
Chris Pratt as Mario
Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach
Charlie Day as Luigi
Jack Black as Bowser
Keegen-Michael Key as Toad
Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong
Those disappointed at the absence of long-time voice actor for Mario, Charles Martinet, will be consoled by Miyamoto’s assurance that the actor will have several cameos in the movie.
Teen Titans Go! directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic will once again be collaborating together for the Mario film, whilst writer of The Lego Movie 2 Matthew Fogel will be holding the reins on the screenplay.
The Italian plumbers and their colourful cast of compatriots have been front and centre in gaming since their inception way back in 1985. Long term fans of the mushroom kingdom will likely be excited to see a new cinematic release in the works, unless they fear a rehash of the dungarees-wearing duo’s last foray onto the big screen in 1993.
This time however, many will be reassured by the fact that this will not be a live-action feature, meaning terrifying Cronenberg-esque goombas and a weirdly tonguey Bowser will thankfully not be gracing our cinema screens again. Instead the studio behind Despicable Me, Sing, and The Secret Life of Pets will be lending their distinctly recognisable animation to the production.
Financed by Nintendo and Universal Studios, the film will be the first on-screen collaboration between the two companies since Super Mario Bros Land was added to Universal’s theme park in Japan.
Chris Meledandri, the CEO of Illumination has stated: “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.”
It has yet to be revealed when the movie will be released outside the US, although Miyamoto promised an announcement would be made soon in that regard.