In 1996, Nintendo 64 owners eagerly switched on their new consoles for the first time. The first thing they heard was a cheery “It’s-a-Me, Mario!” welcoming them to all-time classic Super Mario 64 and a brand-new adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom. That voice was Charles Martinet’s, who’s gone on to embody Mario across countless Nintendo games.
But in the upcoming Super Mario Bros movie, Chris Pratt is clambering into the red and blue overalls, and he absolutely positively will not be saying this charming catchphrase.
The news comes courtesy of producer Chris Meledandr, who was asked by The Wrap whether Pratt would utter those immortal words. He answered:
“We cover it in the movie, so you’ll see we definitely nod to that, but that’s not the tenor of the performance throughout the film. All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal. Yeah, I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The jury is still very much out on Chris Pratt as Mario. The news of his casting was met with a storm of online controversy from Mario fans – and the recent news he’s also voicing Garfield has resulted in a meme about him voicing every conceivable character.
Beyond Pratt, the internet is also morbidly curious about the rest of the cast, particularly Charlie Day’s Luigi, Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, and Jack Black’s Bowser. One thing that should give us hope is that Nintendo and creator Shigeru Miyamoto are apparently excited by what they’ve seen and heard.
But, as always, the proof will be in the pudding. The movie itself is still a way out yet, and we don’t even know the official title. Still, with the casting announced and recording sessions well underway, we’ll likely get to hear Pratt’s “phenomenal” performance as Mario sooner rather than later.
The Super Mario Bros. movie jumps into theaters on December 21, 2022.