Producer Defends Using Non-Italian Chris Pratt As Voice Of Mario In New Movie
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The co-producer of the new as-yet-untitled Super Mario film has defended using Chris Pratt as the voice of the moustachioed plumber in the forthcoming project, promising the star's portrayal will be 'phenomenal'.
Pratt was revealed as the voice of Mario for the new animated film earlier this year, with comedian Charlie Day as long-suffering brother Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Jack Black as Bowser.
However, not all fans were on board with the idea, arguing that an Italian actor should have been cast in the lead role amid fears that Pratt would try and tackle the character's signature exaggerated accent.
But co-producer Chris Meledandri, also the man behind such hit franchises as Despicable Me, Ice Age, and The Secret Life of Pets has promised that they won't be letting things go too over the top.
He told Too Fab: "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."
As for the lack of Italian names in the cast in general, Meledandri said: "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."
When asked how much he planned for actors to 'lean in' to the 'Italianness' of the characters, he also hinted that the accent problem might become something of a self-referential joke in the film.
"We cover it in the movie, so you'll see we definitely nod to that," Meledandri explained.
But that's not the tenor of the performance throughout the film."
As for Pratt, he's not giving much away about the voice we can expect from his take on Mario, but said he felt 'really excited' about the role.
In a video posted on social media after the gig was announced, he said: "So when I was a kid I lived in Lake Stevens, Washington, and there was this coin-operated laundromat near my house and it had Super Mario Bros - the original arcade game.
"I loved that game. I never had a quarter, it felt like. I'd either steal them from the wishing well..."
He then interrupted his own train of thought, saying: "That's wild! It just dawned on me right now. The quarter I stole out of the wishing well to play Super Mario Bros. has come true that I get to be the voice of Mario.
"But I clearly stole someone else's wish, so just waiting for that row of karma dominoes to come crashing down on me.
"But as it is right now, it's-a me, Mario..."
He added: "That's not the voice, you'll have to wait to hear the voice, but we've been working hard at it and I'm really excited to announce that I'm gonna be the voice of that video game that I dreamed about playing as a kid.
"Dreams come true!"