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The Super Mario Bros. Movie: everything we know so far

We might be living during a golden age for great video game adaptations. Following the surprise success of Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel, and with the critically acclaimed The Last of Us about to wrap its first season and a second one on the way, this seems to be the perfect time to adapt a beloved video game property. Fortunately, Illumination Entertainment has us covered with the upcoming The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an adaptation of, arguably, the most popular and recognizable video game IP.

Details about the movie remain surprisingly scarce. However, the wait is almost over, as The Super Mario Bros. Movie premieres in a month, meaning audiences will finally get to see their favorite Italian plumber in all his high-jumping, pipe-entering, fire-ball-shooting glory. In the meantime, here’s everything that’s been revealed and a few things you can expect from the highly-anticipated movie.

When does The Super Mario Bros. Movie come out?

Mario stands on a mushroom in the Super Mario Bros. movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fans won’t have to wait too long to enjoy The Super Mario Bros. Movie on the big screen. The movie is set to premiere on April 5, 2023, in the U.S. and other major territories like China, Mexico, France, and Italy. It will premiere one or two days later in other countries like Canada, Argentina, Germany, and the U.K.

Interestingly, The Super Mario Bros. Movie won’t premiere in Japan until April 28, available in both 2D and 3D. Previously, the movie had been scheduled for release on December 22 but was delayed to its current date, with the incredible Puss in Boots: The Last Wish taking over its previous slot.

Who is in the cast of The Super Mario Bros. Movie?

The Mario characters racing in Rainbow Road in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has an all-star cast of talent voicing our favorite Nintendo characters. Chris Pratt stars as the voice of Mario; his initial casting was met with a divided response from critics and fans. However, the trailer gave us hope, with Pratt sounding like an appropriate, if not great, choice to voice the beloved plumber.

Joining Pratt is Charlie Day as Luigi, Mario’s cowardly but loyal brother; The Menu‘s Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, the franchise’s perennial leading lady; Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Mario’s ally and friend; Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Peach’s faithful companion; Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Mario’s first antagonist famous for his scathing sense of humor; and Jack Black as Bowser, Mario’s arch-enemy, known for kidnapping Peach and constantly trying to take over Mushroom Kingdom.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s plot

Bowser looking angry in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The plot for The Super Mario Bros. Movie remains something of a mystery. The film’s official site doesn’t have many details either, describing it only as “a new animated film based on the world of Super Mario Bros.” However, enough material has been released, and considering the nature of the franchise, we can make an informed guess.

The trailer suggests Mario and his brother, Luigi, come from Earth and travel to, or get transported into, the Mushroom Kingdom, where Bowser is planning a takeover. Luigi somehow gets captured by Bowser, and Mario embarks on an adventure with Princess Peach and Toad to save the universe from Bowser’s threat.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s trailer

The Super Mario Bros. Movie | Official Trailer

The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s full trailer was released in November 2022. It features a collection of scenes, barely hinting at a plot and leaving it up to the audience to draw its own conclusions. That’s exactly what a trailer should do, right? Nothing worse than a trailer that spoils the entire movie for you! The trailer hints a the Bowser plot, showing scenes of the Koopa King torturing Luigi for information about Mario. It also features a battle scene between Mario and Donkey Kong in an arena while Princess Peach watches — perhaps to prove if Mario is a worthy champion to fight Bowser?

Most excitingly, The Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer includes multiple Easter eggs, including a Mario Kart-like sequence showing the characters racing down what seems to be Rainbow Road, one of the game’s most beloved tracks. Brief glimpses of Mario in his cat skin and Peach wielding a fireball are also shown, and numerous beloved characters from the franchise have cameos, including a few Cheep Cheeps, koopas, bob-ombs, and a pack of Yoshis. The Super Mario Bros. Movie has also released other snippets, including a commercial for Mario and Luigi’s plumbing service and a clip of Mario and Toad in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Will The Super Mario Bros. Movie be available to stream?

Luigi and Mario looking at the camera with unamused expressions in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Universal Pictures

The Super Mario Bros. Movie will head exclusively to theaters. As part of Universal’s current release model, the film will stream exclusively on Peacock after a 45-day window in theaters. The movie will then stream on Netflix later this year, with some reports claiming it will arrive at some point in October 2023.

This means fans will enjoy The Super Mario Bros. Movie from the comfort of their homes as soon as May 2023! However, they need a subscription to Peacock, which isn’t available outside the U.S. and certain U.S. territories. Fans around the world would need to wait until October to stream it for free on Netflix.

Will there be a sequel to The Super Mario Bros. Movie?

Mario and Luigi celebrating in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Universal Pictures

Speaking with Fast Company in April 2021, Nintendo’s global president, Shuntaro Furukawa, expressed interest in adapting other Nintendo properties into animation if The Super Mario Bros. Movie succeeded at the box office. While his comments mainly focused on other Nintendo properties, it stands to reason that, should the Mario movie succeed commercially, a direct sequel would be a no-brainer.

However, what exactly would count as a “success” for The Super Mario Bros. Movie remains a mystery. We don’t know the movie’s production budget, much less its marketing costs. It’s too early to tell, but Hollywood is a beast of habit and repetition. And if Sonic the Hedgehog got two sequels grossing $320 million on an $85 million budget, things look good for Mario and his friends.

Are there going to be spin-offs to The Super Mario Bros. Movie?

Toad and Peach walking inside a castle in in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Super Mario Bros. is a massive, lucrative franchise full of beloved characters with vast cinematic potential. In November 2021, Giant Freakin Robot, a source with a decent track record, reported that a Donkey Kong movie starring Seth Rogen was in development. In February 2022, Charlie Day confirmed to that he’d be interested in reprising his role as Luigi for a potential Luigi’s Mansion adaptation.

And those are only the ones we know about. What about a Peach spin-off starring Anya Taylor-Joy and based on the Super Princess Peach game? What about Yoshi’s Island? Better yet, what about a proper Mario Kart adaptation? The sky is the limit with this franchise, but it will all depend on the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

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David Caballero
David is a Mexican freelance writer with a deep appreciation for words. After three years in the cold world of Marketing…
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