Chris Pratt to star in 2022 Mario movie

Published 1 year ago -

Caleb White, Online Editor

On a Sept. 23 livestream of Nintendo Direct, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the “Super Mario Bros.” franchise, announced that an animated movie of Mario would be hitting the big screens next year. The animation will be produced by Illumination, a studio well-known for works like “Despicable Me” and “Minions.” None of this is what captured the internet’s attention, however. It was the fact that Chris Pratt is playing Mario. 

Pratt, of course, is no stranger to playing bombastic and humorous roles. Some of his most notable acts are Star-Lord from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Andy from “Parks and Recreation,” and Emmet from “The Lego Movie.” But being announced as the voice of a video game character as iconic as Mario was unexpected – especially because Mario’s actual voice is already available.

Charles Martinet, the original voice of Mario, will be taking on separate cameo roles not yet disclosed by production. This, of course, has led to no small amount of complaining online. Twitter users questioned the rationale behind hiring Pratt for the role instead of Martinet, criticizing the celebrity casting as a cash-grab. Others thought the idea of Pratt playing Mario was absolutely hilarious. 

Which is perfectly understandable, of course. Chris Pratt’s smoldering black-and-white portrait in the Nintendo Direct is so plainly ridiculous, it was no surprise it ended up being a major point of discussion (and memes) on social media for the next couple weeks. This was only bolstered by Miyamoto’s straight-faced narration: ”First of course is Mario, who will be played by Chris Pratt. He’s so cool!”

Notable streamers on Twitch, such as Videogamedunkey and Vinesauce, had such contagious laughter while watching the movie reveal that several YouTube compilations were uploaded of their reactions. The initial reveal of Pratt as Mario tended to take people off-guard, with the rest of the casting choices sending them further into hysterics.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach is, by far, the most “normal” of the directors’ picks. Her acting on “Peaky Blinders” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” and “Glass” movies was top-notch, but it remains to be seen how her voice acting will be.

Charlie Day as Mario’s brother Luigi is an interesting pick, for sure, but weirdly, it makes sense. Anyone who’s seen his performance in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” should know he has the perfect amount of energy to match Pratt. 

Jack Black as Bowser is a curveball, but the man does have remarkable range. If you’ve seen him in “Jumanji,” he does an excellent job acting as a flamboyant teenage girl. His VA work as the villainous King Koopa will definitely show the other end of his capabilities, though.

Keegan-Michael Key will be playing Toad, the small, mushroom-headed character that bears little resemblance to the actor. Undoubtedly he’ll make for some good comic relief. 

And, somehow, Seth Rogen is Donkey Kong. That speaks for itself. 

There’s no doubt that this upcoming Mario movie, slated to release on Dec. 21, 2022, will be a box office hit. The online phenomenon bears striking similarity to 2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which caused similar upheaval on the internet when its first trailer was released. Whatever its quality may be, people will be buying tickets, whether it’s from genuine anticipation or just “for the memes.” 

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