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“They’re not feeling the new one”: Original Mario Star John Leguizamo Blasts Chris Pratt For Playing Mario, Blames Hollywood For ‘Whitewashing’ For Not Casting PoC Actor

chris pratt mario

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an upcoming computer-animated film based on Nintendo’s Mario video game. The movie is the third movie in the franchise of Mario video games based movies, preceded by the Japanese anime film Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! (1986) and the American live-action film Super Mario Bros. (1993).

The movie has announced a voice cast, led by Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, and Charlie Day as that of Luigi. However, a certain John Leguizamo who played Luigi in the live-action film Super Mario Bros. (1993), wasn’t much appreciative of the casting choice for the movie.

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John Leguizamo blasts the upcoming Mario film for lack of diversity

The Super Mario Bros. Movie to be released next year is already facing criticism for claims of whitewashing. John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the 1993 live-action adaptation of the Mario video game, is concerned that the film is going backward. The actor is referring to the casting of Chris Pratt and Charlie Day, two white men, as the voices of Mario and Luigi.

“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original,” The former Luigi actor said. “I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one.’ I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.”

John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins
John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins

The Emmy-winning actor was upset at the fact that the titular voice roles of the movie were given to two white men, which was a sign of the movie-going backward as he got the role after a long struggle because of his Latin background.

“The directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and they [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead,” the actor added. “They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough. For them to go backwards and not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks.”

The actor shared his dissent about the upcoming film’s casting on a Twitter post.

Chris Pratt cast as a voice actor in the new Mario film

Chris Pratt, who made his breakthrough with his role as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), was announced to play a voice actor for Mario in the upcoming The Super Mario Bros. Movie in September 2021.

The actor shared the first trailer for the movie and also wrote,

“After playing the games for years as a kid (and adult) I’m excited to bring Mario to all of you! Enjoy!”

Chris Pratt as Mario.
Chris Pratt as Mario.

However, on the release of the trailer, it was observed that there was no difference between Pratt’s voice for Mario’s character and his normal speech.

On the other hand, Mario Bros. co-producer Chris Meledandri has claimed that things will be different when the movie is released. His confidence is enough hope to the fans that the movie may not be disappointing.

“All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal,” Meledandri insisted. “Yeah, I can’t wait for people to hear it. Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. You know, I understand the comments.” 

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When asked about the accent, he explained, “We cover it in the movie, so you’ll see we definitely nod to that. That’s not the tenor of the performance throughout the film.”

The Super Mario Bros. Movie will hit the theaters on April 7, 2023.

Source: Twitter

Written by Saif Madre