The casting of Chris Pratt as Mario in the upcoming Mario Bros. movie has been controversial to say the least with fans collectively wondering, “Why?” Now, we’re getting a little more clarity on what this film is going to look like… sort of.
Chris Meledandri, a co-producer on Mario Bros., addressed the casting critiques with TooFab recently by defending the movie’s contentious choice.
"All I can tell you is the voice that he's doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal," the Illumination CEO shared.
Meledandri has been one of the creative forces behind other beloved animated films, most notably Despicable Me and Ice Age, so he’s got some major successes under his belt.
"Well, as an Italian-American myself, I understand," the producer said in response to the outrage expressed over casting a non-Italian to play a famously-Italian cartoon. "You know, I understand the comments."
He then justified the casting further by reminding fans the movie's cast includes at least one actor of Italian descent playing Luigi, the brother of one of the most iconic plumbers in history.
"Charlie Day, who's playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah, so that's our nod," he said. That comment is already raising some eyebrows for Mario fans.
Meledandri, however, insisted that Pratt would not be making a mockery of the Italian accent but it will be referenced.
"We cover it in the movie," he shared. "So, you'll see we definitely nod to that."
"That's not the tenor of the performance throughout the film," he assured, rejecting the idea that people will want to “cancel” Mario after seeing the film. “I don't think so. I think they'll have to [see it]. I don't think so.”
If the movie is parodying some of the assumptions we already have going in, that could be a fun take for the anticipated film.
Chris Pratt is certainly turning into a staple of animated films in addition to his new(ish) action star status. This year alone, Pratt was announced as the voice of both Mario and the beloved animated cat Garfield in the upcoming Garfield film remake.
Pratt also starred alongside Tom Holland in Disney’s Onward and headlined the highest-grossing animated film of 2014, The Lego Movie (fun fact: the highest-grossing film that year was Guardians of the Galaxy, another Chris Pratt joint)
Given all the #PrattContent, some fans are pulling an Anne Hathaway with the actor, i.e. becoming bored of seeing Chris Pratt in what feels like every other movie over the past few years.
It seems we’ll have to wait for 2022 to see Mario Bros. and Garfield to determine for ourselves if Pratt's casting turns out to be the right move.
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