Jack Black will play Bowser. No, this is not a joke.
Nintendo Direct shows are all about new Switch video games, but one of the biggest announcements from Thursday's showcase wasn't about a video game at all. Nintendo is teaming up with the studio behind Despicable Me to bring a new Mario movie to the big screen, coming Dec. 21, 2022.
If you've been burned by Mario films in the past, you may be reassured by the star-studded cast. The flick will star Chris Pratt as Mario, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach.
"It'll be a while longer before we can share a glimpse of Mario in action on the big screen," said Mario-creator Shigeru Miyamoto, who went on to announce the film's cast. Miyamoto lovingly referred to Pratt as "so cool" and promised a "monster performance" from Black as Bowser.
The casting of Taylor-Joy is also notable. Coming off roles in The Queen's Gambit, Emma and the upcoming Last Night in Soho, Taylor-Joy has been earmarked as one of Hollywood's next big things.
Additionally, Charlie Day will play Luigi and Keegan-Michael Key will play Toad.
"This is a very collaborative project between Illumination and Nintendo," Miyamoto said, "and I myself have been enjoying a creative process that is a little bit different from making games. It may be awhile before we can share more updates, but we hope you can look forward to it."
Mario and Luigi previously graced the big screen in the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film. The movie has grown a semi-ironic cult following over the years, but it's a sore spot for many -- including the people who made it. Lead actor Bob Hoskins called it the worst thing he's ever done. The 1993 flick holds a 35 rating on Metacritic.
Social media was ablaze with reactions, mostly to Pratt's casting. There was also some incredulity that Charles Martinet, who voices Mario in Nintendo's video games, wouldn't be playing the famed plumber in film. Miyamoto did note that Martinet would have a surprise role in the movie, however.
In terms of actual games, Nintendo Direct's big reveal was Bayonetta 3, which got a trailer after years of silence, as well as an expansion to the Nintendo Online service that will bring N64 and Sega Genesis games to the Switch. An Animal Crossing Direct event was announced for October, as well as the reveal of the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character.