The cast of a new film adaptation of Super Mario Bros has been revealed, with fans reacting with confusion and derision online.
The animated film, produced by Illumination, the studio behind Minions, was announced yesterday during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. It will star Chris Pratt as the titular plumber and The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach.
"Here we go!"
Chris Pratt as Mario
Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach
Charlie Day as Luigi
Jack Black as Bowser
Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong
Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong
Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek
Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike
Cameos from Charles Martinet pic.twitter.com/Yio2pql1Jy
— Illumination (@illumination) September 23, 2021
Jack Black will voice the villain Bowser, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day will play Luigi. It will also feature Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
Fans have reacted with a mixture of confusion, laughter and disappointment at the announcement. “Everyone is complaining about Chris Pratt being cast as Mario, but I think we should all take a moment to be glad it wasn’t James Corden,” joked one fan.
Everyone is complaining about Chris Pratt being cast as Mario, but I think we should all take a moment to be glad it wasn’t James Corden.
— Wendigoon (@Wendigoon8) September 24, 2021
I will be rooting for this couple. I want Mario to lose. https://t.co/3BgjuYxwho
— Maggie Mae Fish 🐟 (@MaggieMaeFish) September 24, 2021
*sadly* wahoo https://t.co/iLwbDsQV4t
— Patrick Lenton (@PatrickLenton) September 23, 2021
Imagine surviving two recessions and a pandemic only to have to endure Chris Pratt as Mario
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 24, 2021
The black and white image makes it look like this is a memorial for Chris Pratt, with his last words being "Mario". pic.twitter.com/FaT4KTX1p8
— Lance H. (@Imp_Animator) September 24, 2021
Truly the only silver lining I can glean from the Mario movie cast…
It could have been worse pic.twitter.com/j04RNlE34r
— Nathan Ellingsworth 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@NateAndDestroy) September 24, 2021
Others jokingly referred to Pratt’s casting as Mario as discrimination against Italian actors. “chris pratt playing mario is italiaphobia and i’m tired of acting like it isn’t,” said one Twitter user.
chris pratt playing mario is italiaphobia and i'm tired of acting like it isn't
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) September 23, 2021
chris pratt is playing mario pic.twitter.com/KiWVoVkY5z
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) September 23, 2021
This man is voicing Mario 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/cJ7n0Sw8Dk
— Leo (@JoyAnnihilation) September 24, 2021
Pratt himself has described the role as a “dream come true”, remembering his childhood years spent playing the original Super Mario Bros game on an arcade machine.
Announcing the film, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said that Mario’s regular video game voice actor Charles Martinet would appear in “surprise cameos”.
The upcoming film is not the first time the Mario universe has been adapted for the big screen. In 1993, the live-action Super Mario Bros. was released, starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the titular plumbers in a critical and box office failure that has nevertheless become a cult classic in later years.