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Chris Pratt, Charlie Day to star as Mario Bros. in 2022 movie

(The Washington Post illustration; iStock, Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day will star as Mario and Luigi in the upcoming “Super Mario Bros.” movie, now slated for release in the U.S. on Dec. 21 of next year. The announcement came from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto in a Nintendo Direct livestream event Thursday.

Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan Michael Keye (Toad) and Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong) round out the rest of a star-studded cast. Miyamoto said Charles Martinet, the longtime voice of Mario, will also have a cameo role in the film.

This was just one of the surprising announcements made in the 40-minute Nintendo Direct, through which the company traditionally announces its upcoming releases and projects. Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said the film and the company’s theme parks are part of the company’s wider vision to further cement its intellectual property into modern popular culture.

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PlatinumGames finally released a trailer for the long-awaited “Bayonetta 3,” which was announced three years ago with nary a word since. The Bayonetta series was the gold standard of action games of the last decade. The trailer teased a mysterious, white-haired, sword-carrying character as well.

The other big announcement was Nintendo’s plan to “update” its paid online service, which currently sits at $20 a year for access to online games, as well as an archive of Nintendo and Super Nintendo titles. As part of a planned paid “expansion pack” to this service coming late October, Nintendo will offer several Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles as well. The company did not announce any details of pricing for this.

The N64 expansion includes titles like “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” “Paper Mario,” “Starfox 64,” all classics of the console. It will also include some niche titles, like “Winback,” probably the first shooting game ever to use a cover system, and the rails shooter classic “Sin and Punishment.” The expansion is a small step toward addressing long-standing fan complaints about Nintendo’s lack of interest in supporting its archives, particularly since its Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS and 3DS libraries are vast and beloved. The Nintendo DS is the second best-selling video game console of all time.

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Nintendo also announced several other Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance classics to be sold separately. A remake of one of the first SNES games ever, “Actraiser,” and a collection of Castlevania Game Boy Advance games were both made available Thursday evening.

Here’s a roundup of some other notable announcements from a surprisingly eventful Nintendo Direct:

  • The final character for “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” will be announced on Oct. 5 by series creator Masahiro Sakurai. Nintendo said this is the final announcement for the game after three years.
  • “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” is the next mainline game for the pink puffball mascot, also created by Sakurai. This is the character’s first foray into an open-world, 3D environment, and features a suspiciously Earthlike planet as its “lost civilization.” Given that Kirby games often have dark and near-Lovecraftian backstories, hints of a dark tone should not be surprising.
  • “Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak” is scheduled for release next summer. Mainline titles in the series have typically come with massive expansions that are practically new games by themself. The “Sunbreak” expansion feels distant enough to coincide with developer Capcom’s planned release for PC.
  • “Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars” is a new card-based role-playing game by Nier series creator Yoko Taro, releasing Oct. 28.
  • Critically acclaimed tabletop role-playing game “Disco Elysium” arrives on the Switch Oct. 12.
  • A new expansion pack with characters and story is coming to “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity,” on Oct. 29.
  • A Final Fantasy-based kart racer called “Chocobo GP” was announced for sometime 2022.
  • “Animal Crossing: New Horizon” will be getting free content updates in November, with a special “Animal Crossing Direct” scheduled for sometime in October to supply more details.

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