It’s a-me, a Mario… miscast.
Nintendo sparked an uproar on Italian-American social media after revealing that Anglo-American star Chris Pratt, 42, would voice everyone’s favorite Italian plumber in the upcoming “Super Mario Bros.” film. The Japanese video game giant revealed the controversial casting decision via Nintendo Direct Thursday.
“We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen,” said Mario creator and representative director Shigeru Miyamoto of the Universal Pictures flick which will be based on the Mario Bros. video game franchise, Deadline reported of the Universal Pictures flick, which will be based on the Mario Bros. video game franchise.
Joining the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor in the voice-over cast are Charlie Day as Mario’s brother Luigi, “The Queen’s Gambit” star Anya Taylor-Joy as the preeminent digital distressed damsel Princess Peach, Jack Black as bad guy Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as the comic-relief sidekick Toad and Seth Rogen as the barrel-throwing gorilla Donkey Kong, per Nintendo Direct.
“Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character,” read a Thursday press release for “Super Mario Bros.”
However, Nintendo fans begged to differ when it came to Pratt playing the turtle-hammering toileteer.
“Modern italixn stories are told so rarely and even when they are we’re not the ones telling them,” bemoaned one incensed Italian on Twitter of the alleged whitewashing.
Another wrote, “Chris Pratt playing Mario is italiaphobia and i’m tired of acting like it isn’t.”
One poster even shared gif from the “Sopranos” referencing Silvio Dante’s immortal line: “It’s Italian-American discrimination.”
“Danny Devito should’ve been Mario not Chris Pratt, we were robbed,” lamented one critic along with a pic of the Italian-American actor as the mushroom-munching plumber.
Interestingly, few criticized the character of Mario himself, who is an Italian caricature created by Japanese game designer Miyamoto.
The casting choice also irked many Nintendo fans as well.
“F–k this casting celebrities as video game characters in their movies thing,” vented one Nintendo die-hard, who argued that the role should’ve gone to Charles Martinet, who voiced Mario in the video games since the 1990s. “No one wants to see them reinvent Mario to act like Chris Pratt.”
“Super Mario Bros” will be animated by Illumination and directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who previously collaborated on the animated series “Teen Titans Go!” and the film “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.”
It is slated to hit theaters on Dec. 21, 2022.
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