After almost three decades we are finally getting another Super Mario Bros. movie. During yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, Nintendo and Illumination announced the Super Mario Bros. animated movie. The film will be directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic from a screenplay written by Matthew Fogel. which will star the voice talents of Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as Mario and Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy will as Princess Peach, and Jack Black as Bowser. Additional characters include, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
“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.” – Chris Meledandri, Illumination’s Founder and CEO– Nintendo
The original and arguably underrated, Super Mario Bros. came out back in 1993 and was live-action. It was the first feature-length live-action film to be based on a video game. The film was directed by the husband-and-wife team of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, and starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi, Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa aka Bowser.
“The worst thing I ever did? ‘Super Mario Bros.’ It was a fuckin’ nightmare,” Hoskins said. “It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! Fuckin’ nightmare. Fuckin’ idiots.” – Bob Hoskins– The Guardian
The film was widely panned by critics and many of the stars have stated that they regret working on the film. It is widely assumed that the poor reception of the film scared Nintendo from licensing any live-action television and film adaptations for quite some time. That is until Warner Bros. released Detective Pikachu in 2019.
This does however put a slight damper on many fans hopes for a live-action Nintendo universe after the successes of the aforementioned Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog. However, if Super Mario Bros. is a success, it is very possible Nintendo and Illumination will green-light spin-offs based on Luigi’s Mansion and Donkey Kong. And if those are successful the door will open for animated adaptations of The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Kid Icarus, Metroid, F-Zero, Mother, Kirby, Pokémon and eventually Super Smash Bros.
Super Mario Bros. will be distributed via Universal Pictures and arrive in theaters on Dec. 21, 2022.
Are you excited for another Super Mario Bros. film? What other Nintendo properties would you like to see Illumination adapt into animated films? Leave your comments below!