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The Super Mario Bros. Movie Features A Character Anya Taylor-Joy Didn't See Coming

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is about to finally hit theaters, and audiences are joining Mario (Chris Pratt) and his brother Luigi (Charlie Day) on a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom. Luigi is kidnapped by Bowser (Jack Black), who is very, very into Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and extremely jealous of her new plumber friend. 

Fans of the Nintendo games featuring Mario and his companions are in for a whole lot of Easter Yoshi eggs and nods to the decades-long franchise, from a joke about blowing into an old game cartridge to make it work to a Crazy Cap store. We see characters like Cheep Cheeps, Goombas, Diddy Kong, and one character from "Super Mario Galaxy" that surprised Anya Taylor-Joy when she saw them in the film. 

In an interview with Looper's sister site, /Film, Anya Taylor-Joy spoke about how animated scenes can change during the recording process and revealed the one thing that surprised her — a certain little character who provides some of the best and most disturbing moments in the film. 

'It brought me so much joy'

Anya Taylor-Joy said, "Here's the thing with animation: Sometimes things change. You come in, and you're like, 'Wait, where is the scene? Where does the scene go?' or 'Where were we coming from?' I knew the basic plotlines of the story. Then, you read the new pages that come in that iron things out. I don't think I was surprised by much. There's an additional character in this that I didn't see coming. It brought me so much joy. He's a little existential star. He or she. Unclear. They are a little existential star, and I am obsessed with them."

For clarity, in the trailer, the Penguin King (Khary Payton) uses the pronoun "he" to refer to the character. 

Fans of the franchise likely recognize this little creature as Lumalee, voiced by Juliet Jelenic. Lumalee is a bluish, hungry Luma who first appears in "Super Mario Galaxy" and returns for the sequel. In the games, Lumalee is a creature who holds up item signs, and if you feed him enough Star Bits, he explodes into an item like a 1-Up Mushroom. 

'The only hope is the sweet relief of death'

Though his appearance in the film was spoiled by a McDonald's Happy Meal toy back in December 2022 (which was the original release window), Lumalee's few lines in the final "Super Mario Bros. Movie" trailer are both disturbing and absolutely wonderful. You see, he's in a gibbet, hanging over a pit of lava, along with many other prisoners of Bowser, including the Penguin King. When Luigi, who has just been added to Bowser's collection, asks where he is, Lumalee says, "Ooh, fresh meat for the grinder," in the tiniest baby voice. The Penguin King implies he is not right in the head, and he replies, "There's no escape. The only hope is the sweet relief of death," giggling and swinging.

If the trailer didn't make you as obsessed with this character as Anya Taylor-Joy is, the rest of the film will. Lumalee is sprinkled throughout the movie, and his woeful pronouncements in a cheery voice amid smiles and laughter will disturb you in the best way.

Static Media owns and operates Looper and /Film.

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is in theaters on April 5.