The conversation around Chris Pratt’s casting as the voice of Mario in Illumination and Nintendo’s upcoming The Super Mario Bros Movie was well underway before Thursday. But it hit a new gear after the first trailer – and first listen of Pratt’s interpretation of the video game icon — was released at New York Comic-Con. It hits theaters April 7, 2023.
The trailer comes more than a year after the voice cast for the pic was revealed, with Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach and Jack Black as Bowser among others. “Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character,” read Universal and Nintendo’s release at the time about the casting choices.
Right away, many online opined about casting Pratt as Mario. It reached enough of a pitch that Jimmy Kimmel even had to weigh in soon after.
“People online strongly disagreed with Chris Pratt being cast to play Super Mario,” he said as part of his Jimmy Kimmel Live! in the casting aftermath. “People went on social media to furiously demand that an Italian actor portray this offensive Italian stereotype instead. It’s as if they announced Chris Pratt was the new Black Panther. It’s crazy. If you’re old enough to tweet, you’re too old to have an opinion on this subject.”
In today’s trailer, Pratt as Mario only said two phrases — “What is this place?” and “Mushroom kingdom, here we come” — in the 2 minute, 25-second trailer that more engagingly focused on the Black-voiced Bowser. But that was plenty to get social media to weigh in – again. This time, most noted that it sounded like … Pratt.