John Leguizamo Slams New ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Casting
The new Super Mario Bros. movie coming to theaters — titled, quite cleverly, The Super Mario Bros. Movie — is quite different from the first attempt to bring the iconic Nintendo game to theaters back in 1993. This version is animated, not live-action, and it features a look much closer to the Nintendo games than the live-action version, which was wildly different from the games in look, tone, and style. Most game fans were not taken with the bizarre Mario Bros of the ’90s. It became a notorious flop, although it has become something of a cult object in recent years. (Extremely weird movies tend to do that.)
Not everyone is excited for a more “faithful” Mario movie, though. John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the live-action Super Mario Bros. did not have positive things to say about the. animated film in an interview with Indiewire. He noted that the directors of his Mario, Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, “fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and they [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead. They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough.” He added that for the new movie to “not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks.” (In the animated movie, Luigi is voiced by Charlie Day; Mario is portrayed by Chris Pratt.)
Other key members of the animated voice cast include Anya Taylor-John as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad. It will be interesting to see how well-received this “faithful” version is, and how it compares to the old school film. Will more people come to reappraise that first Super Mario Bros. if the new one stinks?
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is scheduled to open in theaters on April 7, 2023.