It’s a-me, Mario! That’s right, the world’s most famous plumber is returning to the silver screen for the first time since the 1993 live-action movie Super Mario Bros.
“I worked really closely with the directors, and [after] trying out a few things … landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear,” the film’s star Chris Pratt told Variety in June 2022.
He continued, “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.”
The iconic figure created by Shigeru Myamoto made his debut in the 1981 video game Donkey Kong. Since then, Mario has appeared in over 200 games. In a September 2021 Instagram video, Pratt joked about how a story from his childhood foreshadowed him stepping into the Nintendo character’s brown shoes.
“There was this coin-operated laundromat near my house, and it had Super Mario Brothers, the original arcade game. Oh, I loved that game. I never had a quarter, it felt like,” the Parks and Recreation alum said, revealing that he would steal change from a nearby wishing well to play.
He continued, “That’s wild. It just dawned on me right now. The quarter I stole out of the wishing well to play Super Mario Bros. has come true that I get to be the voice of Mario. Clearly, I stole someone else’s wish, so I’m just waiting for that row of karma dominoes to come crashing down.”
Charles Martinet, who has been the voice actor for Mario and Luigi in the Nintendo games since 1992, is slated to make several cameos in the film. In addition to portraying the heroes of the franchise, he has also lent his voice to their villainous counterparts, Wario and Waluigi, in various video games.
In a January 2022 interview with Retro Gamer, Martinet expressed his gratitude to have been the voice of the beloved characters for so long.
“I have been given so many beautiful gifts,” he told the outlet. “Of course, I want to play ALL the parts, all the time. But, you know, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling, joyful, fun time and fun career than the one I am having.”
The video game-inspired film is set to hit theaters in April 2023. Scroll through to meet the cast of the much-anticipated Mario movie: