The list of voices for the next Illumination Super Mario The movie reads a lot like a fan mailing list, the sort of thing that might show up on Tumblr or Reddit.
Animated films were used (in large part) to recruit talented voice actors; now they’re throwing celebrity A-listers, pulling in large audiences via star power, which leads us to the unexpected cast of Chris Pratt as the voice of Super Mario.
Fans appeared to be taken aback by the announcement, expressing a mixture of bewilderment, disappointment and good humor.
Several Twitch streamers responded with hysterical laughter, while Twitter users dutifully produced memes.
Some even related to an old 4Chan post “predicting” the advent of a lazily written Super Mario blockbuster full of clichés, starring irrelevant celebrities like Adam Sandler.
Imagine a video game icon like Super Mario speaking with the familiar voice of Chris Pratt (who also voiced the protagonist of Lego movie) does indeed seem very odd, although it’s unclear whether Pratt will attempt to emulate the shrill, squeaky caricature of an Italian accent that Mario has in the games.
Frankly, it’s strange to imagine Mario speaking in any conversational ability; the character rarely exhibits human emotions, being a blank slate on which the player can project themselves. And given the seriousness of the original film adaptation of Super Mario Bros. (1993) is gone, it’s somewhat surprising that Nintendo agreed to give Hollywood another chance.
While some fans were disappointed that Charles Martinet, the longtime actor behind Mario, did not play the lead role, Martinet would feature in the film, voicing a few surprise cameos.
Pratt himself had a story to tell regarding the announcement, via a video post to Instagram, reflecting on how as a child he used to steal coins from a nearby wishing well in order to play the game of ‘coin-operated arcade of the original. super mario bros. Pratt said:
“I just realized that the quarterback I stole from the pit wishing to play Super Mario Bros. became reality that I become the voice of Mario. Obviously, I stole someone else’s wish, so I’m just waiting for that row of karma dominoes to fall apart.
But as it is right now, it’s a-me, Mario. It’s not the voice. You’ll have to wait to hear the voice, but we’ve been working really hard on it and I’m so excited to tell you that I’m going to be voicing the video game I dreamed of playing as a kid. Dreams come true.”
In addition to Pratt, the Super Mario the film will also star Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) like Peach, Charlie Day (It’s always nice in Philadelphia) like Luigi, Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) like Donkey Kong, and Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda) like Bowser.
The Super Mario The film will hit theaters in the United States on December 21, 2022.