Ever since the first announcement, there’s been a pretty big push-back on the actors chosen to portray Mario and the gang in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie. While there was confusion around numerous casting choices, Chris Pratt definitely saw the lion’s share of backlash. With subsequent trailers and clips, fans have warmed up a bit to most of the cast, and to a lesser extent, Pratt.

In an interview with Animation Magazine, director Michael Jelenic is asked about what it’s like working with big-name actors for these famous characters. Jelenic uses this as an opportunity to support the various big-name actors in what they did for the movie.

Sometimes in the animation community people think that you can’t use celebrities, but I think it’s easy to forget that these are great performers and they’ve all proven themselves multiple times and created iconic characters. We cast them in the parts because we believed they could bring these video game characters, who really don’t have much of a personality, to life and make them relatable and funny and heroic. Literally every single person in this movie is great.

Chris Pratt is great at playing an everyman who’s funny, but that you also buy as a hero. Charlie Day is the perfect embodiment of what you think of as Luigi. And then you have Jack Black playing Bowser — and we decided to make that character scary, but the other side of Bowser is somebody who’s vulnerable and funny, and Jack is able to play both those parts and make it not seem like two different characters. It’s sort of humbling working with this talent. From the French studio to the vocal cast, every single person has excelled in this movie.

[Michael Jelenic, Director]

Of course, the final decision rests at fans’ feet, and there’s no doubt all sorts of opinions will be shared when the Super Mario movie hits theaters on April 5th, 2023.

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Comments (6)


1y ago

Spoken like someone who doesn’t play many video games. Granted, they don’t have novels written about them, but he talks about them like blank slates. I’m still hopeful


1y ago

They’re not exactly literary characters speaking to the human condition but geez, there’s gotta be a better way to phrase that.

(Funky Kong does speak to the human condition.)


1y ago

I mean, unless you count the RPGs, most Mario characters really don't have much in the way of personalities, so...


1y ago

I could see some validity of that claim if you haven't played a mainline Mario game past the 16-bit era.


1y ago

The point is well-made, whether we like the wording or not. Mario is an emotive avatar that jumps around and punches things.


1y ago

We’ve heard a decent amount now and Mario’s voice is more than fine.