On Sept. 23, Nintendo fans across the globe tuned in to Nintendo’s scheduled showcase for upcoming games and updates. For many, it was information on the final character to be added to “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.” For others, it was to see if there would finally be any new information on games like “Bayonetta 3” and “Metroid Dread.”
While we got some of these, they all paled in comparison from the most out-of-left-field announcements Nintendo had up their sleeve.
Early into the Direct, creator of Mario and Nintendo Representative Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage to announce some details about the upcoming animated Mario movie. He stated that Nintendo had partnered with Illumination studios to create the film – an animation studio best known for their work on “Despicable Me” and its subsequent films. He then announced that the film will hit theaters in North America on Dec. 21.
Here is who we can anticipate seeing come holiday season this year:
Chris Pratt is Mario
This film will not be Chris Pratt’s first crack at voice acting. The actor voiced Emmet Brickowski in February 2014 in “The Lego Movie” and its subsequent sequel in 2019. He also voiced Barley Lightfoot in Disney-Pixar’s 2020 film “Onward.”
Mario’s infamous voice is due to the work of Charles Martinet. Starting in 1992, Martinet voiced the plumber in the “Super Mario Pinball Machine.” Since then, he has gone on to voice Mario (and various other cast members) in every major Mario title since then.
Many fans question why Martinet wasn’t casted for the role he has embodied for the last three decades. Some believe Pratt won’t be able to perform the iconic voice as it is currently known. Miyamoto reassured fans that, while Martinet will not be reprising his role as the iconic plumber, he will be making a cameo in the film.
As of now, the voice Pratt will be using to embody Mario has not been made public. It is possible the film may abandon the traditional accent that Mario is known for to appeal to a Western audience; a strange move that Nintendo has been known to pull.
On his Instagram account, Pratt recalled his childhood with the franchise. In the video, Pratt made a halfhearted attempt at the character’s catchphrase “it’s a-me” before stating that it “would not be the voice” and that we would just have to wait to hear it.
Anya Taylor-Joy is Peach
What is Mario without a princess to rescue? During the Direct, Miyamoto revealed that Princess Peach will be voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy, an actress who debuted into the film industry in a relatively recent film. In 2015, Taylor-Joy took on the role of Thomasin in 2015 horror film “The Witch.” The role won her both an Empire award and a Gotham award. Since then, she has starred in films such as “Split” in 2016 and popular 2020 Netflix Series “The Queen’s Gambit.” It is currently unknown if Samantha Kelley – Peach’s most renowned voice in the series – will cameo in the film alongside Martinet.
Charlie Day is Luigi
Writer, actor, and musician Charlie Day will be taking on the role of Mario’s nervous twin brother Luigi. Day is most known for his work on his FX show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” alongside Rob McElhenney and Danny DeVito. Just like Pratt, Day performed voice work in “The Lego Movie” as Benny.
He also starred in Apple Tv’s “Mythic Quest” in 2020. Some say he is a bad pick for the role, but others say his manic energy in “It’s Always Sunny” is a perfect match for Luigi.
Whether you have seen his work or not, you recognize this man.
Jack Black Is Bowser
Jack Black needs no introduction. Whether it’s from 2003 “School of Rock,” 2019’s “Jumanji,” or his 2008 role as Poe in “Kung Foo Panda,” we all know Jack Black. Of all the cast shown to be in this film, Black is the one most fans are excited for. Many say that Black was born for this part, and that Nintendo could not have made a better choice. On one hand, his goofy demeanor does suit the Koopa King well. But on the other hand, Bowser has rarely been known to speak. Whenever he does speak, he is often portrayed as having a deep, gruff voice – not quite Jack Black. Either way, we are all very excited to hear Bowser in the spotlight next year.
Keegan Michael-Key is Toad
Actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key will be taking on the shrill voice of toad. He voiced Murray in 2012’s “Hotel Transylvania,” Ducky in 2019’s “Toy Story 4,” and Kamari in Disney’s live-action “Lion King” that same year.
Trying to animate and capture toad’s voice under any other context would be…challenging, to say the least. I cannot think of a proper actor to take on the role, so we’ll see how well he does.
Seth Rogan Is Donkey Kong
Known for his infamous laugh and comedy sketches, comedian and writer Seth Rogan will be taking on the voice of Donkey Kong. One of Nintendo’s strangest choices, considering Donkey Kong doesn’t speak and really is not a part of the Mario games. However, Miyamoto stated that despite that, Donkey Kong will have an appearance in the film and will be voiced by Seth Rogan. Rogan will also be joined by Comedian Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong.
In addition to Armisen, Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will be taking on the role of Spike – an enemy in Mario that throws spiked bars at the player. Kevin Michael Richardson will also be making an appearance in the film as Kamek. Richardson is best known for his extensive voice acting career, including characters such as Captain Gantu in “Lilo and Stitch,” Trigon in “Teen Titans,” and principal Brian Lewis on “American Dad.” He is known for his distinctly deep voice used in villainous roles.
Last year, we were given the original live action “Sonic” trailer, and it was awful. Now, next year, we will have the animated “Mario” movie. Will it be good? Probably not, considering Nintendo’s reputation with video game movies . . . especially with this franchise. Will it be hilarious and successful anyways? Of course! Its Nintendo!