John Leguizamo criticizes new 'Mario' movie's 'all-white' lead cast

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By Asiya Ali

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John Leguizamo has shared one criticism of the forthcoming animated Mario movie's cast: it's too white.

On September 27, the 62-year-old actor and comedian who played Luigi Mario in the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie took to his social media to pen his opinion on the upcoming animation after the trailer was released.

"So glad #SuperMarioBros is getting a reboot! Obviously, it's iconic enuff. But too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in original!" he wrote.

"Plus I'm the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!" he said, adding three screenshots from the 1993 movie of him as Luigi alongside Bob Hoskins as Mario, with one picture captioned: "Apologize to this movie right now!"

Check out Leguizamo's tweet below:

There has been criticism on social media regarding the new Mario movie as Chris Pratt and Charlie Day have been cast as the voices of Mario and Luigi.

The 43-year-old Marvel actor's casting has proven particularly controversial for reasons to do with him not being Italian as well as the casting directors choosing well-known stars over professional voice actors.

Chris Meledandri, Illumination’s CEO, has since discussed why Pratt was cast as Mario and explained that the creative team felt that the Guardians of the Galaxy actor had what it took to deliver a great performance.

"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…." he said, according to Variety.

Meledandri also noted that since he has "Italian American heritage," he feels like he can "make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian Americans."

"I think we’re gonna be just fine. Especially because (Pratt has) given such a strong performance," he added.

wp-image-1263173374 size-full
Credit: AJ Pics / Alamy

In the video games, Mario doesn't speak much but when he does, he has a cartoonish Italian accent. He’s been voiced by others for TV such as Lou Albano, who gave Mario a Brooklyn accent because that’s where the Mario Brothers are from.

Bob Hoskins did the same when he portrayed Mario in live-action - a notorious movie he described to the Guardian as the "worst thing" he ever did in 2007.

"The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a f***in' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare," he told the outlet.

"It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F***in' nightmare. F***in' idiots," Hoskins added.

In comparison, back in 2013, during the 20th anniversary of the original film, Leguizamo defended the flick, saying: "We made a lot of mistakes, but I’m proud of the movie in retrospect," per Gamerant.

Along with Pratt and Day, the new animated film will also star Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.

The new Mario movie comes out on December 21, 2022.

Featured image credit: DPA picture alliance / Alamy

John Leguizamo criticizes new 'Mario' movie's 'all-white' lead cast

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

John Leguizamo has shared one criticism of the forthcoming animated Mario movie's cast: it's too white.

On September 27, the 62-year-old actor and comedian who played Luigi Mario in the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie took to his social media to pen his opinion on the upcoming animation after the trailer was released.

"So glad #SuperMarioBros is getting a reboot! Obviously, it's iconic enuff. But too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in original!" he wrote.

"Plus I'm the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!" he said, adding three screenshots from the 1993 movie of him as Luigi alongside Bob Hoskins as Mario, with one picture captioned: "Apologize to this movie right now!"

Check out Leguizamo's tweet below:

There has been criticism on social media regarding the new Mario movie as Chris Pratt and Charlie Day have been cast as the voices of Mario and Luigi.

The 43-year-old Marvel actor's casting has proven particularly controversial for reasons to do with him not being Italian as well as the casting directors choosing well-known stars over professional voice actors.

Chris Meledandri, Illumination’s CEO, has since discussed why Pratt was cast as Mario and explained that the creative team felt that the Guardians of the Galaxy actor had what it took to deliver a great performance.

"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…." he said, according to Variety.

Meledandri also noted that since he has "Italian American heritage," he feels like he can "make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian Americans."

"I think we’re gonna be just fine. Especially because (Pratt has) given such a strong performance," he added.

wp-image-1263173374 size-full
Credit: AJ Pics / Alamy

In the video games, Mario doesn't speak much but when he does, he has a cartoonish Italian accent. He’s been voiced by others for TV such as Lou Albano, who gave Mario a Brooklyn accent because that’s where the Mario Brothers are from.

Bob Hoskins did the same when he portrayed Mario in live-action - a notorious movie he described to the Guardian as the "worst thing" he ever did in 2007.

"The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a f***in' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare," he told the outlet.

"It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F***in' nightmare. F***in' idiots," Hoskins added.

In comparison, back in 2013, during the 20th anniversary of the original film, Leguizamo defended the flick, saying: "We made a lot of mistakes, but I’m proud of the movie in retrospect," per Gamerant.

Along with Pratt and Day, the new animated film will also star Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.

The new Mario movie comes out on December 21, 2022.

Featured image credit: DPA picture alliance / Alamy