‘Super Mario’ producer defends casting Chris Pratt, won’t offend Italians

‘Super Mario’ producer defends casting Chris Pratt, won’t offend Italians

It’s not-a good.

Producer Chris Meledandri slammed fans angry about the casting of non-Italian Chris Pratt as the voice of the stereotypically Italian Nintendo plumber Mario.

Meledandri sought to assure fans that Pratt did a superb job as the iconic character and that when fans hear his voice, skepticism “will evaporate,” reports Entertainment Weekly.

“When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate. Maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should,” said Meledandri.

“I’m not sure this is the smartest defense, but as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans … I think we’re going to be just fine.”

Fans of the iconic video game series were angered after Pratt was announced as the voice of the titular character.

“Chris Pratt playing Mario is italiaphobia and i’m tired of acting like it isn’t,” said one disgruntled Twitter user.

Several fans of the stereotypical Italian plumber were furious over Chris Pratt's casting.
Several fans of the stereotypically Italian plumber were furious over Chris Pratt’s casting.
Nintendo

“F–k this casting celebrities as video game characters in their movies thing … No one wants to see them reinvent Mario to act like Chris Pratt,” said another.

Meledandri said that the partnership between the production company Illumination and Nintendo is “the fulfillment of a really important objective,” and that Nintendo “is one of the companies we respect and hold in high esteem. This collaboration I think is unprecedented in its closeness.”

The film was initially set to jump into theaters on December 1, 2022, but Nintendo’s head designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, said the film will now open in spring 2023.

Producer Chris Meledandri said that once fans hear Pratt's voice all skepticism will evaporate.
Producer Chris Meledandri said that once fans hear Pratt’s voice, all skepticism “will evaporate.”
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

“After consulting with [Meledandri], my partner at Illumination on the Super Mario Bros. film, we decided to move the global release to spring 2023 — April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America,” said Miyamoto.

“My deepest apologies, but I promise it will be well worth the wait.”

Pratt will be joined by Anya Taylor-Joy, who’s voicing Princess Peach — Mario’s love and consistent damsel in distress — and Charlie Day as Mario’s brother, Luigi.

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