Why Chris Pratt’s Mario Won’t Offend Italians, According to Producer

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Chris Pratt, Mario

Chris Pratt is in the midst of one of his busiest stretches ever as an actor, which is already running with Jurassic World: Dominion. He'll soon move on to a small role in Thor: Love and Thunder before two leading appearances as Star-Lord within the next year, all before he takes on arguably the most popular video game hero ever - Mario.

Alongside an all-star cast that features Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Jack Black as Bowser, Pratt adds yet another exciting voiceover role to his resume in Mario after a decade of live-action adventures. However, due to the movie culture of the present-day being so focused on the accurate and truthful representation of all cultures, there are some concerns about Pratt playing a character that's classically been portrayed as Italian.

On top of Pratt not being Italian, fans have voiced concerns about the actor being something of an uninspired casting choice due to him being a part of so many big-name franchises already. He's also been at the center of controversy due to reportedly being a member of a church that promotes anti-LGBTQIA+ views, although his MCU co-stars and directors have defended his character amongst those accusations.

Now, with rising worry about Pratt being able to do justice to the character, one of the film's producers hopes to calm fans' worries about the outcome.

Mario Producer on Chris Pratt's Performance

Mario, Chris Pratt, Set Rogen
Chris Pratt, Seth Rogen, and Mario

Mario producer Chris Meledandri spoke with Variety about Chris Pratt's upcoming performance as Mario in the upcoming Mario movie, which will debut in theaters on April 7, 2023.

Confirming that the movie is about 75% completed, Meledandri expressed the love he has for Pratt's performance in the role. He also noted how Pratt's "Italian American heritage" helped him feel comfortable with the casting decision "without worrying about offending Italians or Italian Americans," addressing the concerns raised on social media:

“Chris was cast because we felt he could give a great performance as Mario. And now that we’ve done about 15 recording sessions, and the movie is three-quarters done, I sit here and say that I love his performance as Mario. I think we’re gonna be just fine. Especially because (Pratt) he’s given such a strong performance.

Pratt Won't Offend in Mario Role

Seeing as Mario is one of the most iconic video game characters in history, fans are anxious to see the character done right in the modern era of blockbuster movies. This includes making sure that the hero's accent and persona are accurately depicted after decades of popularity in the mainstream media, even considering it's a fun fantasy adventure story.

That being said, with Pratt having at least some Italian heritage, Maledandri feels confident in Pratt's ability to bring the role to the big screen the right way. Even with the actor being a part of so many major franchises at the same time, including a voiceover role as Garfield in the near future, the actor's work will ensure that Mario is done well for fans who have waited for this movie.

With the movie now more than half completed, anticipation builds to see when exactly the promotional tour for Mario begins and what the final product will look like.

Mario will debut in theaters on April 7, 2023. Pratt's next MCU appearance will come with Thor: Love and Thunder, which arrives on July 8.

- In This Article: The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Release Date
April 05, 2023
Anya Taylor-Joy
Charlie Day
Jack Black
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.