A lot of people were upset with the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated movie, and actor John Leguizamo is one of them. Many will remember that Leguizamo took on the role of Luigi in the original live-action Super Mario Bros. movie, so it’s not surprising to hear him share some thoughts on the upcoming animated adaptation. According to an interview with IndieWire, Leguizamo doesn’t like seeing Pratt in the role of Mario either, but not for the reason you might think.
“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original. I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.
The directors (of the live-action film) Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and they [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead. They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough. For them to go backwards and not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks.”
It’s sad to learn that there was such pushback on Leguizamo playing Luigi in the original live-action film, but thankfully things worked out. Sure, the Super Mario Bros. movie wasn’t fine cinema, but Leguizamo did a great job with what he was given.