The actor behind Luigi in the original Super Mario Bros. movie (the live action one that’s good, actually) John Leguizamo has criticised the casting of the new animated take.
No one is entirely happy about the casting of the Super Mario Bros. Movie (it’s mostly because of Chris Pratt), but one of the original actors that portray the taller, greener Mario brother recently offered some criticisms on the casting. Leguizamo recently spoke with IndieWire, where he expressed how he was dissatisfied with the lack of diversity in the Illumination developed film.
“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original,” Leguizamo said to IndieWire. “I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one. I’m not hitter it’s unfortunate.”
The actor went on to talk about his casting in the original film, saying “The directors 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. For them to go backwards and not cast another [actor of colour] kind of sucks.”
The casting for the film was announced last year, surprising everyone when it was revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy star Pratt would be voicing the character, rather than Mario himself Charles Martinet. It appears that the recent trailer caused Martinet some pain, as voice actress Tara Strong called for fans to recall a memory of their experience with the Mario voice actor after speaking out on the movie’s casting.
Other members of the cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad (who does a bit of singing in the film), and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.