Super Mario movie actor says casting is ‘backwards’ and ‘sucks’

The original Super Mario Bros movie actor says the casting in the new movie is “backwards” and that it “sucks”.

John Leguizamo played Luigi in the 1993 live-action adaptation alongside Bob Hoskins, who played Mario. However, it seems that Leguizamo is not too happy with the casting choice of the upcoming animated movie from Illumination.

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Does the new Super Mario movie lack diversity?

In an interview with IndieWire, Leguizamo is unhappy with the apparent lack of diversity in the new movie. The actor recalled how directors of the 1993 adaptation, Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton “fought really hard” for Leguizamo to play a lead. This was apparently due to him being a “Latin man”.

When Leguizamo was eventually cast as Luigi, he said it was “a breakthrough” for the industry. Especially as the studio in charge of the production initially did not want him to play the part.

super mario bros 1993
Credit: Hollywood Pictures/Lightmotive

Furthermore, in response to Illumination not casting an actor of colour in the lead role for the upcoming animated movie, Leguizamo said that it was “backwards” and it “kind of sucks”. 

The new Super Mario movie stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day (Luigi), Jack Black (Bowser), Anya-Taylor Joy (Princes Peach) and Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong).

However, other roles are played by Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Khary Payton (Penguin King), Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike), and Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek).

Leguizamo has previously expressed his concerns

super mario bros movie
Credit: Illumination/Nintendo

Furthermore, as reported by Eurogamer, this is not the first time that Leguizamo has expressed his frustration at the casting choice of the new Super Mario movie.

In a story picked up by the Daily Mail earlier in the year, Leguizamo said: “too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking colour-blind casting in original! Plus I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!

It’s fair to say that the internet wasn’t too happy with Chris Pratt’s impersonation of Mario. Led by Tara Strong, many believed that Charles Martinet, the OG voice of Super Mario should have been cast as the leading role. However, the OG voice actor does have a cameo in the movie.

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When is the Super Mario Bros. movie release date?

The Super Mario Bros. movie will be released in cinemas on March 31st, 2023 in the UK and  April 7th in the US.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the casting choices for the upcoming movie? Let us know across our social media channels.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our video of the week. 10 of the scariest horror games of all time are shown off. What is your favourite horror game?

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Featured Image Credit: Illumination/Nintendo/Source: Eurogamer/Daily Mail