The Super Mario Bros. Movie, starring Chris Pratt as the goomba-pounding plumber, jumps closer and closer to its 2023 release date with each passing day. And now, out of a Nintendo Direct presentation, we have the movie’s first trailer, which most importantly unveils Pratt’s voice for the character.
Earlier this year, Pratt assured fans that his vocal direction would not offend Italian Americans, but also be “updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.” Verdict is out on both.
The trailer kicks off with an extended scene featuring Jack Black’s Bowser leading an invasion of the penguin kingdom. Then we get Pratt’s big debut: A scene in which Mario arrives to the Mushroom Kingdom for the first time. His first words sounds... a lot like Chris Pratt. But after meeting Toad, Pratt slips into a voice that those of us at Polygon have decided sounds... kinda like a Boston thing? Anyone expecting the original sound — or even Jared Leto doing the House of Gucci thing — may be surprised to final the take. Sure, “HEAH we come!” is something Mario might say.
Pratt subs in as Mario for longtime video game voice actor Charles Martinet, who has provided the squat hero with his signature woo-hoos for three decades. Though he will appear (er, be heard) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie — his name is listed among the cast toward the end of the trailer — his comments suggest he has no hard feelings about Pratt taking over; he just wants to voice the games. At a recent appearance at FanExpo 2021, Martinet said he plans on voicing Mario in all future games, but would also “be the first one to call up my friends inside of Nintendo and say, ‘you know something, I didn’t sound right on that one.’”
Alongside Pratt’s Mario, the movie also stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Jack Black as Bowser, Charlie Day as Luigi, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad. The movie is written by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru) and co-directed by Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) and Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go! To the Movies).
The new movie was announced by Nintendo and Illumination in September 2021, and while most of the cast had fans excited, the casting of Pratt was mocked almost immediately. Pratt himself even released a video to let fans know how hard he was working to get the voice right, but it still didn’t stop the mockery. Or his campaign to voice all known animation roles; after The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s release, Pratt will next be heard as the voice of Garfield the Cat in an a film slated for 2024.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie was initially slated for release sometime this year, but after a minor delay, the new release date is April 7, 2023.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that Charles Martinet, Mario’s video game voice actor, was “rumored” to appear in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The first trailer for the film confirmed his presence; we’ve edited the article to reflect this.