Mario movie producer, Chris Meledandri has confirmed that Chris Pratt’s take on Mario in the upcoming Nintendo movie is ‘phenomenal’ and won’t replicate the Nintendo mascot’s usual thick Italian accent.
Meledandri defended Chris Pratt’s take on Nintendo’s famous plumber while being approached by a reporter for toofab at LAX airport. He didn’t reveal too much other than it’s ‘phenomenal’ and he “can’t wait for people to hear it.” On the question of why they didn’t cast an Italian as Mario—even though original voice actor, Charles Martinet isn’t Italian either—Meledandri says he understands the criticism.
“Well, as an Italian-American myself I understand the comments. Charlie Day, who plays Luigi actually, comes from an Italian heritage. So that’s our nod,” Meledandri said in an interview.
Chris Pratt’s approach to Mario’s accent will be different to audiences familiar with the character. Pratt is apparently not leaning too heavily into Charles Martinet’s thick Italian accent of the character, so you might not hear the normal iconic tone of “it’s a-me, Mario“. That’s not to say you won’t hear it for a bit as Meledandri states it will be addressed in the film as a nod to Charles Martinet’s take but won’t be “tenor of the performance throughout the film”.
The animated project was announced back in 2018, the cast was officially revealed at a Nintendo Direct back in September which the internet did not love Pratt’s casting. The cast of the movie also includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, 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 Foreman Spike. In addition, Mario voice actor, Charles Martinet will appear in the movie in an unnamed cameo role.
The movie is being animated by Despicable Me studio, Illumination and is set to hit theatres on December 21st, 2022. Illumination CEO, Chris Meledandri and Super Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto are attached as producers.