The Super Mario Bros. Movie Trailer Introduces Chris Pratt To The Mushroom Kingdom, But Jack Black's Bowser Is Fire

There are already a lot of colorful 2023 new movie releases that we’ve seen first looks from throughout 2022. If it were to be seen as a competition, there might be a case to be made for Universal and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie to be crowned the winner. That’s not all that can be said after the release of the movie’s first teaser trailer, as the world of the Mushroom Kingdom needs a hero, and it looks like we're about to get one in this cinematic origin story.

Universal Pictures finally released the trailer to The Super Mario Bros. Movie during today’s Nintendo Direct event. Showcasing a fiery island run by none other than Bowser (Jack Black) himself intruding on a peaceful and icy fortress, some pretty tough penguins try to defend their home. It’s just a shame the dastardly lizard has fire breath and wizards on his side.

Including the controversial choice of Chris Pratt as Mario, The Super Mario Bros. Movie cast is a pretty impressive roster. Unfortunately, we hear only a little of Pratt's Mario, as well as Jack Black's Bowser, and there is a quick look at Charlie Day's Luigi. No offense to Pratt, whose Mario really needs some more time to shine before any judgement is passed, but if this trailer has an MVP, it's the King of the Koopas.

Jack Black's performance has just the right bombast and meanness to sell that Bowser is an actual threat. Think of Po from Kung Fu Panda, only instead of being on the side of good, he's melting down an ice fortress for a Power Star. It's a total show of confidence and attitude, with none of the bumbling; so The Super Mario Bros. Movie is already off to a legit start to box office success.

The animation world saw its latest smash hit thanks to Universal and Illumination’s previous partnership, Minions: The Rise of Gru crushing its opening weekend. Bringing in a healthy $108.5 million in its debut, the studio partners are clearly ready to deliver the world even more exciting fun. Attaching that outlook to the legendary Nintendo I.P. is just the latest expansion the company has undertaken to do so, and the results seem to look rather exciting.

What we’ve seen in this trailer might even cross over into the theme park world, thanks once again to the efforts of Universal as a whole. With Super Nintendo Land already open in Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Hollywood’s variant already being hyped during its construction, it doesn’t feel like a huge stretch for The Super Mario Bros. Movie to be made a part of that special event. 

Of course, there’s still going to be some who are having flashbacks to the other movie adapting Mario and Luigi’s adventures. While some have actually spoken out in defense of Super Mario Bros., the world at large still seems to be a bit allergic to the 1993 live action blockbuster. Whatever your feelings on that previous incarnation, The Super Mario Bros. Movie looks totally different from what we've seen before. 

The Mushroom Kingdom could become an eye-popping delight for one and all, but we'll have to wait until next spring to find out. The Super Mario Bros. Movie will press start at a theater near you on April 7, 2023, and with a 3D version in the works as well! For now, we'll just have to sit and ponder the big questions, like "Will Jack Black's Bowser somehow become another David Harbour style thirst trap?" You laugh, but stranger things have happened.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.