I think fans may disagree
When Nintendo originally revealed the voice cast for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie, there was one actor that left fans confused much more than any other.
While seeing Jack Black as Bowser and Charlie Day as Luigi was a bit surprising, the reveal of Chris Pratt as Mario was downright polarizing. Countless people found the pick to be completely off-base, if not offensive. That sentiment has largely remained, but now the movie’s director is stepping up to defend Pratt.
In an interview with Total Film magazine, director Aaron Horvath was asked why Pratt was chosen to voice Mario. According to Horvath, Pratt was the ‘perfect’ pick. You can see his full response to the question below.
“For us, it made total sense. He’s really good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart. For the way that Mario is characterized in our film, he’s perfect for it.”
The one defense I can kind of give to Pratt is that Mario is already kind of an unremarkable, vanilla, straight-man to the Mushroom Kingdom around him. Lots of people love Mario, but they don’t often name him as their favorite Mario character. That’s true of Mario Kart fans, and probably goes back as far as Super Mario Bros. 2’s multiple characters. That’s part of his lasting appeal—he can remain familiar and it’s not a problem if co-stars upstage him.
So in a roundabout way, the most generic of generic Hollywood leading men kind of fits as Mario. There’s little chance Chris Pratt will wow anyone. I suspect wowing people with the character of Mario is less important than it is for the others. Knock us dead, Jack Black!