New ‘Super Mario Bros’ movie cast raises brows over the lack of Italian actors

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Are you ready to see mushroom digesting plumbers on the big screen? On Wednesday, Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment announced its A-list voice cast for the upcoming movie adaptation of the OG video game Super Mario Bros.

Playing the two brothers Mario and Luigi are Christ Pratt and Charlie Day, respectively. A statement said that each voice actor has the “ability to capture the unique spirit of their character.” Joining them are Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike).

While the upcoming film sounds like exciting news, some people questioned the cast’s lineup for the lack of Italian actors. It led users online to jokingly suggest Al Pacino as Mario and Robert DeNiro to play Luigi. In case you’re wondering, American stars Pratt and Day, will be portraying the two main characters who happen to be Italian.

Others mostly mocked Pratt for landing the role because of his affiliation with Hillsong, the church that is apparently anti-LGBTQ. But the actor responded with a post in 2019 that the church “opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”

The animated movie will be directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who also worked together on both the Teen Titas Go! series and film. On the other hand, the screenplay will be written by Matthew Fogel, who was part of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and the forthcoming feature Minions: The Rise of Gru.

‘Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date,’ said Illumination Founder and CEO Chris Meledandri.

Super Mario Bros is set to release in North America on December 21, 2022. But future offshore dates are yet to be announced.

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