John Leguizamo is a bit critical of Universal and Illumination’s upcoming animated film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” starring Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as Mario and Luigi, respectively. Leguizamo, who brought Luigi to life opposite Bob Hoskins’ Mario in 1993’s live-action “Super Mario Bros.,” told IndieWire that the new film will feature two white actors voicing Mario and Luigi “backwards.”
“I’m the OG a lot of people love the original,” Leguizamo said when asked his thoughts on the new Mario movie starring Chris Pratt. “I did Comic-Con in New York and Baltimore, and everyone was like, ‘No, no, we love the old, original.’ They don’t feel new.’ I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.”
“Directors Annabelle Zankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was Latino, and they [the studio] I didn’t want to be the lead,” the actor added. “They fought really hard, and it was such a success. For them to go back and not cast another [actor of color] Kind of useless.”
Pratt’s role as Mario in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” has been controversial since joining the “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World” movies. Pratt said Variety Before the film’s trailer debuted, his Mario voice was said to be “unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before,” but the trailer surprised many fans because Pratt sounded like himself, more or less. Pratt said he “worked really closely with the directors” to create the right Mario voice.[We tried] Took a few things out and landed on something I’m really proud of.
Leguizamo first spoke out against the new movie on Twitter in October, writing that a Mario movie reboot was a good idea but that it was “too bad they’re all white! No Latinx in the lead! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in the original! Plus I’m the only one who I know how to make this movie work according to the script!’
Besides Pratt and Day, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” also stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Todd, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong and Sebastian. Maniscalco as Spike.
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opens in theaters on April 7, 2023.