When a Super Mario Bros. movie was announced earlier this year, it came as a shock to many fans that Chris Pratt would be the one to voice the iconic character. In a recent interview, one of the co-producers of the film defended the casting.
Speaking to TooFab at Los Angeles International Airport, Chris Meledandri was asked about the casting decision and commented that he believes Pratt will be incredible in the role. “All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal,” Meledandri said. “Yeah, I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
As for the criticism Pratt has faced, Meledandri joked that he understood the anger behind Pratt not being Italian while voicing Mario. “Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand,” Meledandri said, before also noting that Charlie Day, who will voice Luigi is Italian. “You know, I understand the comments. Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah, so that’s our nod.”
While many fans were shocked at the choice, most of the internet quickly resorted to jokes and memes about the casting choice once it was official. Of course, until we have some actual footage of the film to judge, it’s hard to really say whether or not Pratt will do a good job. With the film set to release on December 21, 2022, however, we’re likely to hear more information on the film sooner rather than later.
Alongside Pratt, the rest of the cast includes Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike (which was previously announced). Mario’s traditional voice actor, Charles Martinet, will also be involved and have “surprise cameos in the movie.”
The creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, will be producing the film alongside Illumination’s Chris Meledandri.