Original Super Mario Bros. Star Responds to 2022 Movie Casting Choices

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Original Super Mario Bros. Star Responds to 2022 Movie Casting Choices

John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the 1993 live action Super Mario Bros. movie, voices his anger about the animated reboot’s casting choices.

John Leguizamo, a star of the original Super Mario Bros. movie, has responded to the 2022 reboot’s casting choices. In the 1980s, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. as one of the most iconic video games of all time on the NES console. The pixilated plumber, Mario, and his quest to save Princess Peach proved to be a huge success, one that would transition beyond gaming consoles and into movie theatres.

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Within ten years of the video game’s release, Super Mario Bros. hit the big screen in a live action film. The movie featured the late Bob Hoskins as Mario and Spawn’s John Leguizamo as his brother, Luigi. The movie tried to incorporate as many aspects from the game as possible, bringing cute bombs, pet dinosaurs, and fungus with transforming powers together. While the elements have continuously proven to be a successful combination in the gaming world, they did not fare well against movie critics. The movie is generally considered a flop, though it does have somewhat of a cult following. Decades later, Nintendo executives have decided that it is officially time to revive the movie franchise, but in an animated format this time.

The company recently unveiled who it has chosen to voice the characters in the reboot and controversy is already growing, with Leguizamo adding his opinion to the mix. The actor is among the many who are voicing their displeasure about the casting decisions, though he says he is “glad” the reboot is happening. The original Super Mario Bros. actor did not shy away from giving his opinion on social media. Leguizamo blasted the movie on Twitter, critcizing the film’s “all white” casting that includes “no Latinx” actors in lead roles. View his post below:

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! Plus I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script wise! pic.twitter.com/lNokmdpwMq

Leguizamo, who was born in Colombia, did not mince words about his disapproval of the cast’s lack of ethnic diversity. Nintendo recently announced that Chris Pratt and Charlie Day will voice the legendary brothers. They will star alongside other huge names like Jack Black, Seth Rogan, and Anya Taylor-Joy. Leguizamo continues his post by glorifying multiple aspects of the 90s Super Mario Bros. He specifically called out the diversity in the original version, saying it featured “groundbreaking color-blind casting,” before going on to say that he is “the only one who knows” how to make a Super Mario Bros. movie script work. The actor solidified his stance with a meme saying that critics owe his film an apology.

While many have taken to social media to express their confusion over Pratt and Day’s casting as the Italian plumbers, Leguizamo’s accusations of an “all white” voice cast are not entirely true. Nintendo’s reboot announcement included the addition of non-white actors as well, including Keegan Michael-Key and Kevin Michael Richardson, who are African-American, and will be voicing the roles of Toad and Kamek respectively. Leguizamo’s underlying frustration could be the fact that he was not selected to be involved with the movie, an idea that his script comment may confirm. Ultimately, however, it will still be a while before audiences get to determine the fate of the new Super Mario Bros. reboot for themselves, and whether Leguizamo was right in saying the project should only come from him. The film is slated to hit theaters in December 2022.

Source: John Leguizamo/Twitter

JD Smithey is a freelance writer for Screen Rant with a focus in movie and television news. He is a graduate of Louisiana College and has had his work published in newspapers, blogs, and multiple award-winning websites. JD currently works full-time as an educator at a secondary school in Texas. He is also the Theatrical and Convention Editor for iliveindallas.com, a website focused on local events in the DFW metroplex. JD’s work has enabled him to conduct a plethora of celebrity interviews and gain a rare insight into some of Hollywood’s largest films.

Within ten years of the video game’s release, Super Mario Bros. hit the big screen in a live action film. The movie featured the late Bob Hoskins as Mario and Spawn’s John Leguizamo as his brother, Luigi. The movie tried to incorporate as many aspects from the game as possible, bringing cute bombs, pet dinosaurs, and fungus with transforming powers together. While the elements have continuously proven to be a successful combination in the gaming world, they did not fare well against movie critics. The movie is generally considered a flop, though it does have somewhat of a cult following. Decades later, Nintendo executives have decided that it is officially time to revive the movie franchise, but in an animated format this time.

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