You never truly know what to expect from a Nintendo Direct, and the latest one that streamed this afternoon dropped a rare non-game-related bomb: the release date AND the list of actors for Illumination’s animated Super Mario movie. Shigeru Miyamoto himself appeared onscreen to make the announcement. Mark your calendars for a December 21, 2022 US release!
There hasn’t been much speculation about the cast for this thing, perhaps because everybody assumed the exact same voices from the games would be used…in other words, Charles Martinet would be voicing everyone. But either that’s too much work or he’s not a big enough box office draw, because the usual lineup of celebrities has been enlisted to replace him.
The biggest wild card, at least in our opinion, is the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario himself. When you think of Pratt, “portly Italian plumber” doesn’t sound like a role that would fit him. Is he doing an impression of Mario, or simply using his own voice? Hearing Chris fake an Italian accent for two hours sounds maddening, so we’re guessing the latter.
Anya Taylor-Joy is Peach. Generally these voices are cast years in advance, and Taylor-Joy just blew up within the last year thanks to Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. They struck oil with this one — had she been cast after the fact, she probably would have cost more.
Charlie Day is Luigi. Since I don’t watch Always Sunny I’m barely familiar with him. Sorry.
The reveal of Jack Black as Bowser made me laugh out loud. This is the opposite of Pratt — it’s near-perfect casting. Look at that picture — he even resembles Bowser.
Keegan-Michael Key as Toad…is he being pitched up?
Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong….this seems like the “heck, we don’t know, get Rogen in there” type of decision. I wouldn’t know how to cast him either.
Fred Armisen is Cranky Kong…until a few minutes ago I didn’t even know DK was going to be in this, let alone his father. Who’s Dixie, Jojo Siwa? (Note: Jojo Siwa is not Dixie)
The ubiquitous Kevin Michael Richardson will lend his deep pipes to Kamek and Sebastian Somethingsomething will be playing the lowly Spike.
But for those of you sore that Martinet was apparently locked out, he was not — Miyamoto revealed that he IS involved in the movie, though his appearance and who he’s playing will remain a secret for now.