Talk about a level up — the new animated feature film based on the world of Super Mario Bros. has bagged an A-list voice cast.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day have been tapped to play the titular video game siblings Mario and Luigi, respectively, two Italian plumbers plunged into a world of foes and fantasy in the beloved Nintendo game series. Anya Taylor-Joy will play Princess Peach, the royal blonde who has inspired millions of Halloween costumes and rap lyrics, often found in the clutches of supervillain Bowser, who will be voiced by actor Jack Black.
Rounding out the are Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad (who does a mean cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”), Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
Chris Meledandri’s top-grossing Illumination label is making the film, which will roll out in theaters on Dec. 21, 2022, via Universal Pictures. Nintendo and Universal are co-financing the project.
Meledandri is producing for Illumination with Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic are directing, having previously collaborated on the animated series “Teen Titans Go!” and the film “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.” The script is from Matthew Fogel, whose credits include “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and the upcoming Illumination title “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
“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,” Meledandri said, announcing the cast at the streaming event Nintendo Direct.
The producers noted that each actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of each of their iconic characters.
“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,” added Miyamoto. “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.”