Mario MOVIE Director Confirms Princess Peach's Role Reversal

By Klein Felt Updated:
Super Mario Bros. Movie, Princess Peach

New comments from the directors of The Super Mario Bros. Movie revealed key details about Princess Peach's role in the animated film. 

Illumination Entertainment's love letter to Nintendo's iconic plumber is just about ready to hit theaters, with the Mushroom Kingdom and its cast of characters getting a spotlight unlike any they've ever seen before. 

Amongst this colorful cast are Hollywood heavy hitters like Chris Pratt (Mario), Charlie Day (Luigi), and Anya Taylor-Joy (Peach), all of whom have been heavily featured in marketing for the project.

While exact plot details for the film remain a mystery, one would expect the classic Mario tale of saving the Princess from yet another castle from the villainous Bowser; however, that may not be the case this time around. 

Peach's Unexpected Role in The Mario Movie

Princess Peach and Toad in Mario Movie

According to Super Mario Bros. Movie directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, Mario and his friends may not be falling into their typical roles for the animated blockbuster. 

Speaking in the latest issue of Total Film, the pair revealed that Charlie Day's Luigi will "[take] the Princess Peach role in [their] story" with "Mario’s goal [being] to save his brother from Bowser’s clutches" instead of Princess Peach:

"It’s Mario’s goal to save his brother from Bowser’s clutches. He has to go on this epic adventure to do that. So Luigi, who’s a famously nervous, anxious character, finds himself in the worst possible predicament: having to survive interrogations with Bowser, and make it through that gauntlet."

On Peach herself, Horvath noted that "the story of Mario saving the princess was too straightforward." He pointed to Mario titles where Peach is playable as being some of his favorites, remarking that with the character being "the monarch," the directing duo really thought about "how strong that person would need to be:"

"She’s the monarch who leads this kingdom of hapless, adorable Toads. We were thinking how strong that person would need to be to protect those people. All that informed the idea for Peach’s character in our movie."

Speaking on Jack Black's dastardly Bowser, Horvath noted that when Black's name came up, "[they] were all like, 'That’s genius'." He complimented the actor's ability to "go from an absolutely frightening character in one moment" to a "hilarious, goofy, and vulnerable [one] in the next."

Then tying Black's celebrated music career as a member of the comedy rock back Tenacious D, Horvath said "there was a lot of natural connections" between the actor and Bowser's whole aesthetic:

"Bowser’s whole aesthetic is onyx rock and chains and iron gates. His castle looks like it could be a metal album cover. We felt like there was a lot of natural connections."

A Modern Take on Super Mario

Sure, the Super Mario Bros. Movie directing team could have taken the typical Mario saves the princess story and ran with it for their animated epic, but it is exciting to see them modernize that formula just a bit for the big screen. 

Anya Taylor-Joy's Peach is a badass, as evidenced by a number of trailers and posters released for the film. The world has sort of moved past the two-dimensional damsel in distress, and this new take on Peach is a perfect example of that. 

Instead of being held captive by Bowser, she is going to be helping Mario on his journey to take down the King of the Koopas while Charlie Day's Luigi is going to be the one who needs saving. 

This change of pace actually makes sense for Luigi as a character. The long-limbed Mario bro has garnered quite a reputation for being easily frightened and cowardly, so, what good is he going to be on a perilous adventure across the Mushroom Kingdom? 

Taylor-Joy's Peach feels like the perfect travel companion for Chris Pratt's titular plumber, coming with newly revealed battle garb and even a giant hammer. 

The Super Mario Bros. Movie comes to theaters worldwide on April 5. 

- In This Article: The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Release Date
April 05, 2023
Anya Taylor-Joy
Charlie Day
Jack Black
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.