Despite the backlash aimed at Chris Pratt’s casting in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directors Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath are still defending Pratt. Given Pratt’s prominence in Hollywood, the actor was cast to voice the iconic video game titular character in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. His casting has drawn considerable critique, which was amplified by the first looks from the trailer, where Pratt did not embody Mario’s quintessential voice.
In an interview with Total Film, Jelenic and Horvath fiercely defended the controversial actor and his voice work as Super Mario. Check out Horvath’s quote below, via GamesRadar+:
“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.”
Why Has Chris Pratt’s Mario Drawn Such Backlash?
Before the trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released, Pratt experienced a massive backlash after his casting was announced. The criticism noted the lack of believability that the Guardians of the Galaxy star could play a blue-collar plumber like Mario, especially considering his heavy accent and general personality. After the voice reveal in The Super Mario Bros Movie trailer, Pratt’s Mario sounds somewhat out-of-place compared to the over-the-top Bowser.
Many comments noted that Pratt sounds less like Mario and more like Chris Pratt in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The expectation was that the iconic Mario needs a boisterous and excitable voice actor, not Pratt reading off lines with little attempt at an accent while struggling to emote in response to Black’s impressive Bowser. While Pratt became a household name, public opinion believes that he hardly seems to be a good fit for Mario.
Pratt’s unpopularity also extends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as there have even been numerous calls to recast Pratt’s Star-Lord. The controversy focused on Pratt’s affiliation with Hillsong Church, which was allegedly noted to have made homophobic comments. Despite some aversion towards Pratt, it is unclear how the backlash affects The Super Mario Bros. Movie performance once it hits theaters on April 5, 2023.
More: The Super Mario Bros Movie Can Explain An Ancient Princess Peach Mystery
Source: Total Film (via GamesRadar+)
Key Release Dates
The Super Mario Bros Film