The upcoming Super Mario Bros. was immediately met with confusion when it was announced Chris Pratt would be voicing the iconic Italian plumber. This decision is especially odd considering Mario already has a long-time voice actor, Charles Martinet. Film producer Chris Meledandri has defended the casting choice, saying "All I can tell you is the voice that he's doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal".
Meledandri responded to questions from TooFab about Pratt's casting as he left LAX airport. When asked about the decision to cast Pratt as an Italian plumber, Meledandri said, "Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. Charlie Day, who's playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah, so that's our nod."
Chris Pratt has said that we'll have to wait to hear his Mario voice, but don't get your hopes up too high, as Meledandri said although there will be nods to Mario's iconic "It's a me! Mario!" line, "That's not the tenor of the performance throughout the film."
While I don't think that means this iteration of Mario will feature a gritty, down-to-earth, working-class hero, I do think it means Pratt will just be using a fairly normal voice for most of the film.
While most people had no idea this news was coming, one Twitter user actually predicted the casting choice over a year before it was officially announced. This casting follows a trend in both video games and films to cast big-name Hollywood actors in voice roles rather than professional voice actors.
As well as Mario, Chris Pratt is also voicing cartoon cat Garfield. Pratt's connections to a radical Christian church that advocates for conversion therapy for queer people has some fans of these characters feeling justifiably troubled by his casting.
In other news, a Pokemon evolutions trailer reveals the show's final episodes will air next month, and Pokemon Go developer Niantic is now valued at $9 billion. We've also created a timeline of all the Activision Blizzard news this week for anyone who has been struggling to keep up.
Pokemon Unite is falling far behind the competition when it comes to the metagame, cosmetics, and fun events.