Illumination is an American film and animation studio that is currently producing the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. film with Nintendo. Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri, shared his idea to cast actor Chris Pratt as Mario. In a conversation with TooFab, Meledandri called Pratt’s voice acting in the movie “phenomenal.”
Chris Pratt is definitely not Italian like the Mushroom Kingdom resident he’s voicing and critics will obviously find it strange. Meledandri however, seems to be fascinated by Pratt’s talent. He said, “All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us and Mario is phenomenal. Yeah I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Being an Italian American himself, Meledandri understands the doubt in the air. Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. So that’s a huge approval by everyone. In his exact words, “Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. You know, I understand the comments… Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah so that’s our nod.”
Meledandri made it clear that Pratt will not be using a thick Italian accent in his portrayal. The stacked voice cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy in the role of Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Foreman Spike.
In a video he posted to Instagram in September announcing that he got cast in the role, Pratt recalled a story about playing the game in his youth. Well, every 90s kid has got Mario stories, right? Even Chris Pratt shared his, “So as a kid I lived in Lake Stevens, Washington and there’s this coin-operated laundromat near my house and it had Super Mario Bros., the original arcade game, Oh, I love that game. I never had a quarter… I’d either steal them from the wishing well… It just dawned on me right now—the quarter I stole out of the wishing well to play Super Mario Bros. has come true that I get to be the voice of Mario.”
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the Japanese video game designer who created the Mario character, previously said, per Variety, “We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game. The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen.”
The film is set to be released next year on December 21, 2022. In other news, Pratt will also be voicing the character of Garfield in a forthcoming animated film.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!