At a Nintendo Direct event last fall, the company revealed a release date for the animated Super Mario Bros. movie it’s making with minions animation studio Illumination. Now, the company has revealed that the film will not hit theaters on December 21 as planned and will instead be released in the spring of 2023.
A tweet attributed to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto says that after consultation with co-producer Chris Meledandri, the new release dates for the Super Mario Bros. movie are April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America. The tweet didn’t offer an explanation of how Chris Pratt will portray Mario, a title, or answer any of the other questions we’ve had since this project was announced in 2018.
This is Miyamoto. After consulting with Chris-san, my partner at Illumination for the Super Mario Bros. movie, we’ve decided to move the worldwide release to Spring 2023 – April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America. My sincere apologies, but I promise it will be well worth the wait.— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) Apr 26, 2022
Other cast members confirmed for the film include Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong. Longtime Mario voice actor Chris Martinet will also star in the film, although it’s unclear how.
Miyamoto promised that the film will be “well worth the wait”, and we only need to look at the success of the first Sonic the hedgehog movie to see how true that can be. The first movie needed a three-month delay so animators could fix Sonic after viewers flinched at the first trailer, and when it came out, the movie was a hit. There is no indication of similar issues with the Mario movie, although we still don’t know much about it, Deadline reports that the delay is about “optimizing the family audience” with an Easter weekend release next year. That it may be in sync with the opening of America’s first Super Nintendo World theme park and Nintendo’s sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just a bonus.