In the pantheon of video game adaptations, 1993’s live-action Super Mario Brothers starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper certainly sits among the lower tiers. Since then, rights owners and game behemoth Nintendo has been reticent about letting studios adapt its characters, a stance that appeared to soften in 2017 when animation company Illumination struck a deal for an animated adventure featuring Mario, Luigi and the gang. The company has announced the voice cast, led by Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Seth Rogen, Jack Black and Keegan-Michael Key.
Pratt – whose casting as Italian plumber Mario is already setting off a firestorm of complaints and comedy reactions online – will be the main man, while Day is his brother Luigi, Taylor-Joy is damsel in distress Princess Peach, Black is villain Bowser, Key is Mario’s pal Toad, with Rogen as Donkey Kong. Also lending their voice abilities? Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. The film is scheduled to arrive in December next year.