‘Super Mario Bros.’ producer defends Chris Pratt’s casting

Chris Pratt Mario

Since being announced as the voice of Mario and Garfield in quick succession, the internet has been having a field day worrying about a world where every single character in animation is obligated to be voiced by Chris Pratt, a terrifying prospect that can’t be completely discounted at this stage.

Illumination Entertainment’s Super Mario Bros. is coming to theaters in December 2022, and it’s got a star-studded ensemble in place that features such heavy hitters as Seth Rogen, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key and more, but all anybody wants to seem to talk about is Pratt’s involvement.

There’s been some light-hearted backlash towards an actor born in Minnesota bringing an Italian plumber to life in a big budget family film, and in an interview with Too Fab, Illumination’s Chris Meledandri gave a rather frank non-answer when he was asked about the call to award Pratt the gig.

“Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. You know, I understand the comments. Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah so that’s our nod.”

Animation is anybody’s game in terms of who can play what part in which movie, and a lot of the negativity swirling around Pratt headlining Super Mario Bros. is simply because a lot of folks on social media don’t like the guy, because Charlie Day has been left out of the conversation entirely despite the fact he’s voicing Luigi, even if Meledandri did reveal his Italian-American heritage.