John Leguizamo hits out at new Mario movie's 'all-white' lead cast
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Featured Image Credit: John Palmer/Media Punch/Alamy Live News/Nintendo/Illumination
Actor John Leguizamo has taken shots at the upcoming Super Mario Bros film, taking to social media to criticise the cast of the animated adaptation for being 'too white'.
Leguizamo played Luigi in the infamous 1993 live action Super Mario Bros film, alongside Bob Hoskins.
And last month, the 62-year-old actor and comedian penned his thoughts on the project following the release of the latest trailer, saying while he was excited for the movie, he was disappointed by the lack of diversity in the casting.
He also expressed regret that nobody from the studio had reached out to him during its production.
"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 tweeted.
"Plus I'm the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!" he added, before posting three screenshots of himself and Hoskins from the 1993 film.
He then told viewers in the captions to: “Apologize to this movie right now!"
To be fair to Leguiziamo, he’s far from the only one to criticise Nintendo’s decision to cast Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as the Italian plumbers instead of longtime Mario voice actor Charles Martinet, who’s voiced the duo since 1992.
Reaction to Pratt’s performance in particular has been mixed, with fans criticising the Marvel actor’s flat delivery in contrast to Martinet’s colourful, cartoonish performance.
Following the trailer reveal, Star Trek actress Mica Burton said: “Okay the animation for the Mario movie looks gorgeous and I’m looking forward to seeing what the plot of this is but good lord I CANNOT get past the fact that Chris Pratt is just using his normal ass voice JUST HIS NORMAL ASS VOICE FOR MARIO”
“Everything in the mario trailer works except for mario” tweeted another user, while a third added: “You can hear Mario just by looking at him, knowing what Mario sounds like, anticipating him to speak and just hearing a normal guy voice is unnerving lmao."
Chris Meledandri, CEO of animation studio Illumination, told Variety Pratt 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."
While he’s no longer around to share his views on the new movie, it’s hard to imagine Bob Hoskins would’ve enjoyed it.
The actor, who died in 2014, once told The Guardian was performance as Mario was the 'worst thing' he ever did.
"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 in 2007.
"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.
Leguiziamo meanwhile has much more positive memories of the movie. During an interview on the film’s anniversary, the actor said that despite the 'mistakes' made in the production, he was proud to have been part of the first-ever video game movie.
“It was one of the first video game movies, so it was tough. It was a first, nobody had ever done it before, and they didn’t really know how to go about it so we were pioneers," he said.
“We made a lot of great things, we made a lot of mistakes but I’m proud of the movie in retrospect."
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