Nintendo’s Direct event on Thursday had a lot of teases when it came to upcoming games, but perhaps the biggest news came when the event announced the cast of its upcoming Mario movie. Because while people will certainly be excited about new content in Animal Crossing, no one really saw Chris Pratt as Mario coming.
Chris Pratt as Mario
Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach
Charlie Day as Luigi
Jack Black as Bowser
Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong
Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong
Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek
Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike
Surprise cameos from Charles Martinet
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 23, 2021
The announcement came near the end of the presentation, when Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto appeared to reveal the main stars of the film. While the movie will be animated, the voice acting decisions are a big deal considering gaming fans have heard these characters saying various phrases for decades. Which is why there was something odd about major Hollywood stars being asked to take on these video game roles.
The biggest name, of course, was Pratt taking the leading role as Mario. The headshot combination along with “Mario” in quotes was, well, very funny.
Sexy Mario is Free via the Movie. pic.twitter.com/EIfFWJgXOv
— Cheap Ass Gamer (@videogamedeals) September 23, 2021
The rest of the cast announcements were pretty odd as well. While Anya Taylor-Joy playing Princess Peach makes sense, Charlie Day as a “shy” Luigi is certainly interesting as well. Pratt was the main focus of reactions online, though, and his name almost immediately trended on Twitter and earned some interesting reactions.
On one hand, this is a terrible choice. But on the other hand, it is offensive to Italians. I’m torn. https://t.co/T8PYc1SgRX
— Sean O'Connor (@seanoconnz) September 23, 2021
thats not an italian what the hell is this https://t.co/E28hGXwgVu
— Bill DiFilippo (@billdifilippo) September 23, 2021
chris pratt is playing mario pic.twitter.com/KiWVoVkY5z
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) September 23, 2021
Chris Pratt’s photo is in black and white because Nintendo knows the Mafia is going to k word him for doing the accent after the movie comes out pic.twitter.com/GH4uEZEew3
— merritt k (@merrittk) September 23, 2021
chris pratt playing mario is italiaphobia and i'm tired of acting like it isn't
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) September 23, 2021
Someone who isn’t Italian is doing the voice of Mario pic.twitter.com/z8ZWlJuyou
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) September 23, 2021
A lot of people straight up thought the announcement was a joke.
genuinely thought chris pratt as mario was a shitpost
— rachel (@rachelmillman) September 23, 2021
A release date for the movie was announced on Thursday as well: December 21, 2022 in North America. So while the hypothetical image of Pratt with a large mustache and Italian accent may haunt you, it’s not likely we’ll actually see what this movie will look like by way of a trailer for some time.