Chris Pratt as Mario? Mamma mia… but hold onto your red shells, because Mario movie producer and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri wants you to give him a 1-UP. During an interview with Animation Magazine, Meledandri assured Mario fans that Chris Pratt’s Mario voice isn’t that bad. honestly
“When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate, maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should.”
Despite Pratt not being of Italian-American heritage, Meledandri nonetheless thinks he’s the right man for the job.
“I’m not sure this is the smartest defense,” he added. “But as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans… I think we’re going to be just fine.”
Meledandri previously rushed to Pratt’s defense, stating that he won’t be doing an Italian accent in the movie.
“We cover [that accent] in the movie, so you’ll see we definitely nod to that – but that’s not the tenor of the performance throughout the film.”
Officially announced back in September 2021, the upcoming Mario movie will star Chris Pratt as our favorite Italian plumber, and it’s proved to be quite the divisive casting choice.
Pratt quickly took to Instagram to assure fans that he’s “working hard” at getting Mario’s voice just right, explaining that the role is a “dream come true.”
Quite how Pratt’s performance will measure up remains to be seen. There’s been nothing in the way of promotional materials for the film just yet, and our first glimpse of the Mario movie is likely quite some time away.
Chris Pratt will star as Mario in the upcoming movie, alongside Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.
Kevin Michael Richardson will voice Kamek, Fred Armisen will voice Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco will voice Foreman Spike. Longtime Mario voice actor Charles Martinet also wants to have a cameo in the film.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.