Super Mario Bros. Animated Movie Producer Defends the Casting of Chris Pratt

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When Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt was announced as the voice of Mario in the untitled Super Mario Bros. animated film that is currently in the works, there were a lot of reactions on social media and the casting choice was called out since Pratt is not Italian and not fit to voice an iconic character like Mario. Now, one of the people behind the film has chimed in and explained their divisive decision.

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As reported by Variety, during a presentation at the CineEurope event in Barcelona, Illumination CEO and founder Chris Meledandri, who is also one of the producers of the Super Mario Bros. animated film, explained their decision of casting Pratt as the voice of Mario to which he defended their choice after now spending multiple recording sessions with the actor.

"Chris was cast because we felt he could give a great performance as Mario. And now that we’ve done about 15 recording sessions, and the movie is three-quarters done, I sit here and say that I love his performance as Mario," said Meledandri. "I think we’re gonna be just fine. Especially because he’s given such a strong performance."

Chris Pratt as Mario
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Meledandri also pointed out his Italian-American heritage and iterated that he could make the decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans.

Based on his comments, it looks like the team at the Super Mario Bros. animated film project is confident with their casting of Pratt and didn't regret their decision after seeing what he has done so far in their recording sessions. Even though they are aware of the online backlash, it looks like they are still sticking with their plan and believed that Pratt is the right choice to be the voice actor for Mario.

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To be fair, we still have not seen any clips or footage regarding the project so we still have no idea about what Pratt's take on Mario will sound like. While a lot of people still found it jarring that he will be voicing the character, perhaps once we finally see the trailer or a clip from the movie, they will change their mind. For now, everything still remains to be seen.

Also Read: Chris Pratt's Super Mario Bros Film Delayed as Shigeru Miyamoto Hypes Up Live-Action Adaptation

The untitled Super Mario Bros. animated film is set to be released in theaters on April 7, 2023.