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Everything We Know So Far About the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Movie

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Everything We Know So Far About the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Movie

For almost 40 years, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. has persevered as an ambassador from the gaming world. Their Red and Green overalls and hats only mean one thing—Mario and Luigi. These goomba stompin’, fireball tossin’, pipe slidin’ Italian plumbers originally hail from the platformer genre. In fact, they’re pioneers and trendsetters who continually evolve with the standard set by modern design and technology. They’ve crept their way into party games, fighting games, RPGs, racers, several sports titles, and more on their path to global reverence.

Mario as a commercial IP exists on a scale somewhere between comic book characters and Pokemon. Gamers, for the most part, eat it up too. Nintendo sells entire consol generations on first-party IPs that see a release or two per cycle, careful not to inundate fans with yearly sequels. They’ve taken extreme caution in adapting their characters for screen after the commercial failure of their live-action attempt at the Super Mario Bros in 1993—which actually kinda rips. Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and John Leguizamo donned the hats and battled King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) as Mario and Luigi, but the Paul Verhoven action aesthetic didn’t grab fans the way that the colorful and charming gaming world of the Mushroom Kingdom did. Just shy of thirty years later, and Nintendo is stepping up to bat again, this time with an animated adaptation.

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In 2018, Nintendo and Illumination announced a new animated Super Mario Bros. film. Illumination is the studio responsible for the family-friendly animated films Despicable Me, Dr. SeussThe Lorax, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, and their sequels. Fans had to wait another three years before more information dropped during 2021’s September Nintendo Direct—Nintendo’s method of disseminating information surrounding upcoming products through presentations. Questions, concerns, and memes immediately followed so let’s break down everything we know about the, as of yet untitled, animated Super Mario Bros. picture.

RELATED: ‘Super Mario’s Most Iconic Enemies Ranked, From Goombas to Boo and Everything in Between


Who is Who In The New Super Mario Bros.?

During 2021’s September Nintendo Direct, Nintendo Representative Director and the creator of Mario himself, Shigeru Miyamoto announced the release date and casting details that set the internet on fire.

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Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) is everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber, Mario. Considering Mario has traditionally been voiced by Charles Martinet, who is set to play several characters who inhabit the big-screen adaptation of the Mushroom Kingdom, news of Pratt’s casting stunned just about everyone. He shared a video on his Instagram detailing his long-standing love affair with Super Mario Bros., and his excitement and commitment to the project. “It’sa me,” he jokingly said with a hint of a New York Italian-American accent before saying, “that’s not the voice, you’ll have to wait to hear the voice, but we’ve been working hard at it.”

Charlie Day (Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is set to star as Mario’s brother, Luigi. Luigi’s more clumsy, frantic, oddball nature suits the wildcard of It’s Always Sunny, but Day has yet to publicly comment on the project.

Anya TaylorJoy is the animated Princess Peach. In an interview with ExtraTV, Joy said, “It’s so much fun. I have unlimited amounts of respect for all of the work that goes into it because these artists are just incredible.” Time will tell if Princess Peach will serve as more than the damsel in distress, her typical role in each Mario Bros. installment.

In a universally praised casting move, Bowser will be played by comedy icon Jack Black. His dynamic voice and excitement to step into the spiked shell of King Koopa make him an ideal candidate for the role. When Consequence chatted with Tenacious D, Jack Black’s comedic rock n’ roll band with Kyle Gass, Jack Black expanded on his relationship to the franchise, “Am I a Mario Bros. fan? Dude, I go way back. Okay? I go Donkey Kong. I was there when Nintendo was in short pants…The main thing is, hey Pratt Pratt, I’m coming for you. Yeah, Bowser’s gonna eat you up whole. I’mma barbecue you, and then eat you. *munching sounds* Barbecue chicken! *slurp*”

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Fellow comedy icons Fred Armisen (Portlandia), KeeganMichael Key (Key and Peele), and Seth Rogan join the Mushroom Kingdom as Cranky Kong, Toad, and Donkey Kong respectively.

Rounding out the cast is VO legend Kenneth Michael Richardson as Spike, and the aforementioned Charles Martinet voicing several characters.

What Is Super Mario Bros. About?

Traditionally, Super Mario Bros. sees Mario and Luigi on a quest to save Princess Peach from the clutches of the fire-breathing King Koopa, Bowser. The inclusion of part of the Kong family suggests an attempt at fleshing out the world outside of Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Lair. No official story details are available at this time, but the movie is being written by Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) with Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go! To The Movies) and Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) directing. In a conversation with Variety, Illuminations own Chris Meledandri spoke about the studio’s commitment to Miyamoto’s vision, saying, “We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film. I’ve rarely seen that happen in any adaptation where the original creative voice is embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto.” All of those creators combined suggest a movie strongly aimed at children.


When Does The New Super Mario Bros. Come Out?

When Shigeru Miyamoto announced the cast list in September, he also told viewers the movie is expected to drop on December 21, 2022, in the United States of America, and sometime over the holiday season, 2022, everywhere else.

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For more Super Mario Bros., check out the original live-action adaptation, if you haven’t, or check out the fan-made restoration that reinserts 20 minutes of cut material back into the film. Visit the Nintendo eshop on any Nintendo system with internet support and immerse yourself in the Mushroom Kingdom with any of the dozens of Mario Bros. titles and spin-offs before the film comes out. And keep checking back at Collider for more information on everyone’s favorite plumbers’ new trip to the big screen.


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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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