Chris Pratt Is Changing A Major Aspect Of Super Mario

Chris Pratt is making a big change to Super Mario!

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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The news from September that Chris Pratt will be voicing iconic game hero Mario in an as of yet untitled film, did not elicit the most positive reactions from Super Mario fans. The response on social media was the kind that would make Robert Pattinson feel fortunate in comparison for the immediate reaction to his casting as Batman. A lot of critics complained about casting a non-Italian in an Italian role, but according to the film’s producer, the Super Mario who Pratt voices will be significantly different from previous portrayals in one major way.

In a video for TooFab, producer Chris Meledandri explains that, as an Italian-American, he understands the concerns people have regarding Chris Pratt’s casting. He did not give specifics, but he told TooFab that the usual over-the-top “It’s-a-me, Mario” voice usually associated with Mario will not be “the tenor of the performance throughout the film.” He also added that Charlie Day, who does come from an Italian heritage, is playing Luigi. Meledandri insists that once they see the film and how Mario’s heritage is handled, the critics complaining about Pratt’s casting will change their mind.

For some, the fact that Chris Pratt isn’t Italian isn’t the only sticking point, and that goes for at least one actor who starred in 1993’s Super Mario Bros. live action film. Within days of the casting announcement, John Leguizamo — who played Luigi alongside the late Bob Hoskins as Mario in the ’90s film — tweeted that he was happy a new movie was on the way, but lamented the all white lead casting. In contrast, he praised what he called the “groundbreaking color-blind casting” in the original. You can see the tweet below.

One thing producer Chris Meledandri seems to be either overlooking or otherwise choosing to not address is that for many fans, their objections to Chris Pratt’s casting has less to do with his ethnicity vs. that of his character, and more to do with how Pratt’s public image has declined over the past couple of years. Ever since Elliot Page tweeted that Pratt’s church was “infamously anti lgbtq,” the Internet has regarded the Guardians of the Galaxy actor with a much more critical eye. Everything from Pratt’s divorce from Anna Faris to how much he charges for autographs is dissected through a social media microscope.

Earlier this month, social media users had Chris Pratt’s name trending after the actor posted a happy anniversary message for his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger. The contempt from Twitter and beyond sprang mostly from Pratt praising his wife for, among other things, giving him “a gorgeous healthy daughter.” Many saw this as an intentional jab at his ex-wife Anna Faris and their son, who was born 9 weeks premature. For over a year after their son’s birth, there was concern he would have developmental problems, though that turned out not to be the case.

Whenever it premieres and whatever it’s ultimately named, Chris Pratt and Charlie Day won’t be the only big names lending their voices to the untitled Super Mario film. The pair will be joined by acclaimed dramatic and comic actors alike. Anya Taylor-Joy will play Princess Peach, Seth Rogen will be the barrel-tossing Donkey Kong, Jack Black will voice Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key will play Toad, Fred Armisen will be Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco will voice Spike.