It’s-a-me… Chris Pratt?
That’s right, one of the world’s most famous Anglo American movie stars of Norwegian descent has been cast as the world’s most famous fictional Italian plumber, much to the consternation and ironic delight of the internet.
Nintendo announced Thursday during its Nintendo Direct event that Pratt will be voicing the beloved character in a new animated feature film based on the Mario Bros. video game franchise. Joining Pratt in the voice cast will be “The Queen’s Gambit” actress Anya Taylor-Joy as Mario’s perpetually imperiled paramour Princess Peach, Charlie Day as his lanky brother Luigi, Jack Black as baddie Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as tiny sidekick Toad and Seth Rogen as banana-loving simian Donkey Kong.
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The internet lost no time riffing on Pratt’s casting as Mario.
“chris pratt is playing mario” tweeted actor Vincent Martella alongside a “Sopranos” meme of Silvio Dante, played by Steven Van Zandt, saying, “It’s anti-Italian discrimination.”
“Danny Devito should’ve been Mario not Chris Pratt, we were robbed,” tweeted @LucinaDraws with a picture of DeVito, who is of Italian descent, as Mario.
“we bullied the sonic movie into redoing the vfx we can bully the mario movie into redoing the casting,” tweeted @pianta_. Last year’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” underwent extensive character redesign when the internet reacted poorly to the film’s initial images of Sonic.
“anne marie captured in real time the devastating psychic damage i received when they revealed the mario movie’s cast,” tweeted voice actor SungWon Cho alongside a photo of himself looking distressed.
“First Look at Mario and Yoshi in Super Mario Bros. (2022),” cracked @MrChebi, tweeting a photo of Pratt with a dinosaur from his “Jurassic World” film franchise, a reference to Mario and his friendly dino pal Yoshi.
“I am afraid I must insist on Chris Pratt doing a wildly offensive Italian accent for Mario,” joked @AbeGoldfarb. “I want new anti-defamation leagues formed as a result of this performance.”
This isn’t Mario’s first foray into cinema: He was previously portrayed in the infamously terrible 1993 live-action film “Super Mario Bros.,” starring British actor Bob Hoskins as Mario and Colombian American actor John Leguizamo as Luigi. The bar is set high, and it won’t take long for Pratt or Super Mario Jump to raise it.
Universal Pictures will release the new Mario Bros. movie Dec. 21, 2022. Illumination will animated it.
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