Super Mario movie delayed until 2023 — but ‘it’ll be worth the wait’

Mario Odyssey screenshot
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Update: Chris Pratt's Mario movie voice sounds like a bad idea

Mamma Mia! It’s not good news for fans of Nintendo's iconic mustache sporting plumber, as the Super Mario movie has officially been delayed. 

The animated adventure, which stars Mario and pals, was set to release on December 21, 2022, but has now been shifted back several months until April 7, 2023. The news was confirmed via a Nintendo of America post written by legendary video game developer, and creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto.

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Miyamoto offered his “deepest apologies” to fans disappointed by the news but promises that the film will be “well worth the wait.” 

Illumination, the animation studio working on the movie, also released a statement from its CEO Chris Meledandri, noting that the decision was made by all parties and that the entire team is “excited to share this incredible film.” 

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A fresh stab at bringing Mario to the big screen — we don’t talk about the 1993 live-action movie — has been in the works for a while now. However, the production gained real momentum in 2018 when Nintendo confirmed it was working with Illumination and Universal to bring the Mushroom Kingdom to theatres. 

Since then, we’ve not seen a single second of footage, but last year Nintendo confirmed the voice cast for the film. Chris Pratt will star as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy will voice Princess Peach, Charlie Day will play Luigi and Jack Black will lend his vocal chord to the villainous Bowser. 

The film will also include the voices of Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogan, Fred Armisen and Kevin Michael Richardson. Plus, Charles Martinet, who voices Mario in various video games, will appear in a currently undisclosed cameo role. 

It’s a pretty star-studded voice cast, but it’s fair to say the reaction to Pratt being cast as the world’s most famous video game character has been rather mixed. A quick search of YouTube brings up dozens of compilation videos of internet streamers and gamers reacting to the cast list with a mixture of disbelief and uncontrollable laughter. Hopefully, Pratt can pull off a convincing Italian accent. 

As mentioned, aside from its release date and key cast members very little else is known about the upcoming Super Mario movie. We don’t have any plot details yet, but considering the Mario games have relied on the same basic story structure for the last three and a half decades, it’s a strong bet that the plot will involve Bowser kidnapping Peach and Mario venturing out on a quest to rescue her. 

Video games and Hollywood haven’t always been the greatest of bedfellows, but there are signs that filmmakers are finally understanding how to adapt games for a theatrical audience. While not masterpieces, both Uncharted and the two Sonic the Hedgehog movies have been recent success stories. Fingers crossed, the Super Mario animated movie is similarly well-received when it hits theatres next April. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.