Super Mario Bros. Movie Debuts the First Glimpse of Chris Pratt's Iconic Plumber
Chris Pratt's starring voice role in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated feature has taken shape with an impressive poster showcasing colorful characters and game-inspired style.
The debut Super Mario Bros. poster image makes a clear statement about the aesthetic direction of the film. The venerable Nintendo franchise's eponymous main character, the jumping plumber Mario, as voiced by Pratt, is shown standing in the foreground looking back to a stupendous landscape that showcases the one and only Mushroom Kingdom in all its beauty and obstacles-addled danger. Interestingly, Mario is flanked by some of the land's familiar-looking denizens in what appears to be a shopping center in which items evocative of the game are sold.
The animated feature represents a major medium shift for the video game company. Indeed, Super Mario Bros. has been its flagship property since the 1985 bellwether platform game of the same name turned Mario -- who was originally Donkey Kong's embattled protagonist -- into a certified global icon. Yet, despite all the stunning success reaped from the franchise, the medium of movies still represents the moment Nintendo flew too close to the proverbial sun. That's because the 1993 Super Mario Bros. live-action movie, which starred Bob Hoskins as Mario, notoriously missed the mark, going on to gross an abysmal $20 million globally at the box office. The company has since shied away from movies.
Consequently, the upcoming animated Mario movie represents the three-decades-in-the-making moment in which Nintendo finally comes out of its (Koopa Troopa) shell for non-game media. Naturally, Nintendo is hedging its bets since Super Mario Bros. will manifest as a co-production of a major studio in Universal Pictures. Moreover, it is working with the famed animators of Illumination Entertainment, which has been responsible for some of the biggest non-Disney animated hits of the last few decades, most notably the Despicable Me/Minions franchise.
Pratt, who already stars in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal's Jurassic Worldfilm franchises, was announced for the Mario voice role back in September 2021. This led to a fair amount of backlash pointing to his overexposure. Illumination eventually made a statement in defense of its choice, with boss Chris Meledandri explaining, "Chris was cast because we felt he could give a great performance as Mario. And now that we've done about 15 recording sessions, and the movie is three-quarters done, I sit here and say that I love his performance as Mario."
Additionally, the star himself recently ramped up the hype for his Mario voice performance. "I worked really closely with the directors and trying out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear," Pratt said. "It's an animated voiceover narrative. It's not a live-action movie. I'm not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I'm providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you've heard in the Mario world before."
Regardless, fans will get to see a lot more of said performance since the first Super Mario Bros. teaser trailer is scheduled to drop during its New York Comic Con panel on October 6 at 4 p.m. ET.
Super Mario Bros. is scheduled to leap into theaters on April 7, 2023.