It seems that almost every movie attracts controversy these days. If it’s not Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) upsetting fans with its initial design of the titular hero (in their defense, he didn’t look great), it’s Pixar’s Lightyear (2022) triggering unreasonable audiences with a same-sex kiss.
Now, another movie based on a hugely popular video game is coming under fire. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) recently unveiled its first trailer, and it looks awesome. In fact, it looks so perfect that it may as well be a video game cutscene with the biggest budget ever!
Check out the official trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie below:
However, not everyone is happy that Jurassic World and Marvel actor Chris Pratt is voicing Mario, which has been a talking point ever since it was announced. In the new trailer, it’s clear that Pratt, who, as we know, isn’t Italian, has seemingly given Mario a Brooklyn accent, which can be heard when he says, “Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!”
It isn’t just fans who aren’t happy, though, as Tara Strong, a voice actor best known for cartoon shows such as Extreme Ghostbusters (1997), as well as the Marvel show Loki (2021), recently took to Twitter to share an image of herself and fellow voice actor Charles Martinet, who is best known for voicing Mario and Luigi in the long-running video game series.
Check out her tweet below, in which she says, “It should be Charles [Martinet]”:
“It should be Charles.”
It should be Charles. pic.twitter.com/IeWoyAAHKj
— tara strong (@tarastrong) October 6, 2022
Though she mentions neither Chris Pratt or Mario by name, it would seem that she’s referring to the casting choice. However, Charles Martinet hasn’t been left out of the project — he’s credited as appearing in an undisclosed role (will he play Wario or Waluigi, perhaps?).
What’s particularly hypocritical about all the backlash, though, is the fact that the late Bob Hoskins’ portrayal of Mario in the live-action film Super Mario Bros. (1993) also has a Brooklyn accent, yet that didn’t appear to have upset anyone at the time.
Not only that, but Charles Martinet is also an American voice actor, whose portrayal of Mario in the video games includes an Italian accent. But had Pratt have been told by the filmmakers to voice Mario in the same way, he’d have probably received just as much backlash, if not more.
Now, some fans are threatening to boycott the film by watching the French dub version instead, which apparently features Mario with an Italian accent. Nevertheless, Chris Pratt is still very excited about the movie, as can be seen in a tweet he shared when announcing the trailer.
Check it out below:
“The official teaser trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie is finally here!! After playing the games for years as a kid (and adult) I’m excited to bring Mario to all of you! Enjoy! #SuperMarioMovie @supermariomovie”
The official teaser trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie is finally here!! 🍄 After playing the games for years as a kid (and adult) I'm excited to bring Mario to all of you! Enjoy! #SuperMarioMovie @supermariomovie pic.twitter.com/ubJZu8jCFO
— Chris Pratt (@prattprattpratt) October 6, 2022
Previously, in response to backlash (long before the trailer launched), Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri defended the choice to cast Chris Pratt as Mario in the upcoming film. Here’s what he said at Barcelona’s CineEurope event earlier this year:
“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,” Meledandri said. He also said that, as he has Italian American heritage, he could make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian Americans. “I think we’re gonna be just fine,” he went on. “Especially because [Pratt] he’s given such a strong performance.”
The Super Mario Bros. Movie stars Chris Pratt (Mario), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Charlie Day (Luigi), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), Sebastian Maniscalo (Foreman Spike), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Khary Payton (The Penguin King), and Charles Martinet and Eric Bauza in an undisclosed roles.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie releases in theaters on April 7, 2023. Despite all the backlash, we’re pretty sure it will collect plenty of coins when it smashes through the box office next year.
Do you have an issue with Chris Pratt voicing Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie? Let us know in the comments down below!