Super Mario Bros. Movie: Who is Foreman Spike?

The Super Mario Bros. movie may have found its Foreman Spike, and you're not alone if you have no idea what that means.

Foreman Spike
Photo: Nintendo

While everyone was distracted by the news that Idris Elba is going to play Knuckles in the next Sonic the Hedgehog movie, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco seemingly confirmed that he will be playing Foreman Spike in the upcoming animated Super Mario movie that we still don’t know a lot about.

Yes, we’re talking about the Foreman Spike: the legendary Super Mario character that many of us practically grew up with. We’re talking about “The Icon” Foreman Spike who…umm…well.

Wait, who is Foreman Spike, and what is he doing in the Super Mario movie?

To answer the first part of that question, Foreman Spike is a construction site foreman who was first introduced in the 1984 Mario Bros. game: Wrecking Crew. Lore-wise, he served as the foreman of the construction site that Mario and Luigi worked at, but he’s most prominently featured as the game’s main antagonist. While he couldn’t directly hurt Mario, he could hinder the player’s progress by removing platforms, stealing resources, and generally being a pest.

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To be honest, that’s roughly where the tale of Foreman Spike ends. Wrecking Crew ended up being a relatively modest hit for Nintendo that ultimately became a relatively small part of the Mario Bros. franchise. As such, Foreman Spike never really became a famous video game character despite promising his mom that Wrecking Crew was going to be his big break. He later appeared in the Japan-only puzzle game Wrecking Crew ’98 but has otherwise since been relegated to cameos and references in Mario Golf, Mario Maker, Super Smash Bros., and WarioWare. Between Mario’s far more impressive rivals (most notably, Donkey Kong and Bowser) and the fact that Mario and Luigi didn’t return to the construction site that often in subsequent years, it seems that Nintendo eventually just ran out of reasons to bring Foreman Spike to the party.

So…what is he doing in this upcoming movie? Well, it’s a bit difficult to speculate about his role at the moment given how little we actually know about the project, but it does seem fair to suggest that Foreman Spike will not be the film’s lead villain. As amusing as the idea of Foreman Spike pulling the strings from behind the scenes may be, you don’t exactly put butts in the seats by having Foreman Spike on the marquee.

The much more likely explanation is that the upcoming movie will feature a number of references to more obscure parts of the Mario Bros. universe. That would also tend to suggest that the movie will follow in the footsteps of films like Wreck-it-Ralph, Ready Player One, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and Free Guy by ultimately being a giant Easter egg hunt that makes the most out of the available property.

Of course, there’s always a chance that the film will instead be a grounded look at the daily worries of two blue-collar brothers and their toxic foreman. I will also accept a Total Recall situation where Mario and Luigi start out as humble construction workers who soon discover that they’re destined to be part of a much larger adventure that may or may not be triggered by the actions of a company that brute forces memories of an epic journey into their brains.