Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming adaptation of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. video game series has been delayed to 2023.
The Super Mario Bros. adaptation was originally set to release on Dec. 21, targeting a theatrical run through the holiday season. The film will now hit theaters on April 7, 2023 in North America. A Japanese release will follow on April 28.
Super Mario Bros. series creator and Nintendo leader Shigeru Miyamoto announced the change in release date through Nintendo’s social media on Monday evening.
“After consulting with Chris-san, [producer Chris Meledandri,] my partner at Illumination on the Super Mario Bros. film, we decided to move the global release to Spring 2023,” Miyamoto wrote. “My deepest apologies but I promise it will be well worth the wait.”
With the Mario move leaving a hole in the holidays for Universal, the studio is moving the release date of DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” to fill the Dec. 21 release date. The “Shrek” spin-off sequel had been set to hit theaters on Sept. 23.
After years of gestation, plans for a Super Mario Bros. animated movie began to calcify in 2018, with Nintendo and Universal announcing a partnership on the project. Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio behind “Minions,” “Despicable Me” and “Sing,” was also on board. Universal and Nintendo are co-financing the feature film.
In Sept. 2021, Nintendo revealed the voice cast for the Super Mario Bros. film, tapping Chris Pratt to voice the Italian plumbing protagonist. The voice ensemble also includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. Original Mario voice actor Charles Martinet will have a cameo role in the film.
After casting was announced, producer Meledandri revealed that Pratt would not voice Mario with a thick Italian accent in the movie.
Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic are directing, having previously collaborated on the animated series “Teen Titans Go!” and the spin-off film “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.” The script is from Matthew Fogel, whose credits include “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and the upcoming Illumination title “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”