Video game purists expecting a faithful adaptation of the original Nintendo game might be somewhat surprised by first teaser for the new “Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which debuted on Thursday.
The clip’s dark and bombastic opening features King Koopa, voiced by Jack Black, as he lands in a fiery, rocky ship on an icy nightscape belonging to the penguins, who first appeared in the 1996 version of the game, “Super Mario 64.”
It’s only when King Koopa reaches the floating golden invincibility star with little black eyes that the teaser makes its most direct reference to the original 1985 game that started the franchise, one of the most successful in all of gaming.
The next scene in the clip is a much more direct homage, showing the titular mustachioed plumber, here voiced by Chris Pratt, as he lands out of a green pipe into the lush and sunny Mushroom Kingdom that connoisseurs will remember from Level 1 in the first game from 1985. This is also when the game’s memorable music is finally heard, albeit briefly.
The CGI-animated film, from Nintendo and Illumination, features several other big name stars, including Charlie Day as Mario’s brother Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.
The last time the iconic video game was translated into a feature-length studio film was almost 30 years ago, with the ill-begotten 1993 release of the live-action “Super Mario Bros.,” starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.
The new movie is due to hit theaters on April 7, 2023.