Image: Nintendo

Nintendo announced earlier today on Twitter that it will be changing the Japanese name of Foreman Spike for the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in the region later this month (thanks VGC!).

The character of Spike originally made their debut in the two-player arcade game VS. Wrecking Crew in 1984. This was a title that was later ported to the NES/Famicom one year later under the name Wrecking Crew. In that game, Spike acted as the foreman of the demolition site where Mario and Luigi worked, functioning as another obstacle for the player. In the recent film, the character makes a return after decades of inactivity as the human rival of both Mario and Luigi.

While in the US, the character has always been known to audiences as "Spike", he has always been referred to in Japan by a different name: "Blackie" (or "ブラッキー"). Nintendo of Japan's Twitter account, however, revealed today that this will all change later this month when The Super Mario Bros. Movie releases in Japanese cinemas on April 28th, 2023. The film will instead use the American name for the character, and this will be the case for future appearances moving forward.

No reason was given for this change, but some Western publications have already started speculating that it is to avoid the potential similarity to racial slurs. As others have suggested, though, it's just as possible, that with the success of the movie, the company is trying to standardize the name of the character across different regions. Some evidence to suggest this second theory is that the Pokémon character Umbreon is also called "Blacky" ("ブラッキー") in Japan, but hasn't yet seen a similar action from Nintendo. Either way, the change is probably for the best!

Have you seen the Super Mario Bros. Movie yet? What did you think of Spike's appearance?

[source twitter.com, via videogameschronicle.com]