Super Mario Bros Movie Directors Explain Why Chris Pratt Is Perfect Casting


Directors of the upcoming Super Mario Bros movie defended Chris Pratt as the eponymous character saying he is perfect for portraying the role. With the movie adaptation of the beloved Nintendo character fast approaching its premiere in theatres, fans are still on the fence about Pratt being the iconic video game plumber.

There is no denying the split-second disoriented silence when the audience heard Mario for the first time in the official trailer last year. The moment Mario spoke, a lot of people in the audience went like ‘what?’ then ‘whoah!’ because the next frames were fantastic again.

After the initial shock and then glee that the movie was genuinely coming in a few months, fans got down to business in scrutinizing the voice of Mario. Some said they could let it pass because the movie is definitely going to be great. Others were more vocal in their opinion that the production made a huge mistake. Some even said they did Mario an injustice.

Super Mario Bros Movie Has Chris Pratt As Perfect Mario

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However, directors Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, of course, believe otherwise. Variety reported (via Total Magazine) on their stand in casting Chris Pratt as the voice for Mario. Horvath said:

It’s a bit of an origin tale. It’s the story of Mario becoming Super Mario.

After which he said that they needed to find an actor who could be pretty credible in portraying a plumber from Brooklyn who was:

a blue-collar guy from a family of Italian immigrants.

Furthermore, the director emphasized:

For us, it made total sense. He’s really good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart. For the way that Mario is characterized in our film, he’s perfect for it.

In a separate interview, Chris Pratt talked about his work in the movie, lending his voice to the hero. He said:

I tried out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear. It’s an animated voice over narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.

Super Mario Bros Show Updated Mario With Chris Pratt

Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros, Chris Pratt, Illumination

Credit: Illumination

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It’s the “unlike anything you’ve heard” bit, which would be the source of most contention. The article also points out that the actor who portrayed Luigi in the 1993 movie, John Leguizamo, isn’t really digging the decision to cast white actors to voice Mario and Luigi. He thinks it was ‘backwards’ on the part of the production.

Interestingly, way back in 2020, the late Nintendo engineer and designer Masayuki Uemura revealed via Kotaku what Mario’s actual ethnicity is. Despite what people immediately perceive Mario to be, Uemura actually said:

Super Mario Bros. isn’t set in Japan, but the character’s Japanese. The name Mario sounds Italian, but he isn’t Italian. They were really able to capture that ambiguity.

He. Isn’t. Italian. So, does this mean even the 1993 cast was wrong? Or does this mean that Mario could be Japanese but looks and sounds Italian and happens to be white? It has just become even more confusing.

Still, the movie is done and is on track for release on April 5, 2023. Maybe, just maybe, we should all just give the movie a chance and see if Pratt’s performance could really work. Do we trust the process? We can only wait and see.

What do you think about the directors’ defence of Chris Pratt leading the Super Mario Bros movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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