A producer on the Super Mario animated film has defended the casting of Chris Pratt, describing his Mario voice as “phenomenal”.
Following the film’s cast announcement in September, Pratt’s inclusion has faced scepticism over whether he’ll live up to Mario’s original voice actor, Charles Martinet.
Speaking to TooFab, co-producer Chris Meledandri said Pratt’s voice will win over critics and fans. “All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal,” Meladandri said. “I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
He also said the movie will make a self-referential joke about Pratt’s lack of Italian accent. “We cover it in the movie,” he added. “So you’ll definitely see a nod to that.”
The character’s famous line, “It’s a-me, Mario!”, was also described as “not the tenor” of Pratt’s performance – suggesting it might not be featured too heavily.
Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto is serving as the film’s co-producer along with Illumination Entertainment founder Meledandri, whose past works include Despicable Me and The Secret Life Of Pets.
Alongside Pratt, the cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad.
Other additions include Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. The film will also feature cameos from Martinet, who has voiced Mario, Luigi, Wario and other characters from the Super Mario world since the 1990s.
Pratt has history with animated films, providing the voice of Emmet Brickowski in The Lego Movie. He’s also set to voice Garfield in a new animation.
The Super Mario film will be directed by Aaron Hovarth and Michael Jelenic, from a screenplay written by Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise Of Gru).
The currently untitled Super Mario movie is scheduled to be released December 21, 2022.