In the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, Shigeru Miyamoto revealed an upcoming animated Super Mario movie from Illumination with a release date set for December 2022.
On September 23, the cast was announced. By all accounts, it has an A-list cast including Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, Jack Black as Bowser, Charlie Day as Luigi, and Chris Pratt playing Mario. Despite this all-star lineup, fans on social media have been expressing concern if the film will live up to the arcade game’s legacy, as well as opinions on stars that they believe would have been better suited for certain roles.
One chief criticism being that the original voice actor for Mario, Chris Martinet, will not be reprising his role as Mario but instead will make ‘cameos’ throughout the film. Twitter user @AnacybeleKels comments “I question why Martinet isn’t voicing Mario like he always has, but I’m still gonna watch this! Illumination hasn’t failed to make a movie I like.” Chris Pratt has also been under fire in the media for his continued affiliation with Hillsong Church, an “infamously anti-LGBTQ” organization that does not “affirm all lifestyles,” including the “gay lifestyle.”
Pratt isn’t the only voice actor on the project battling backlash from the media. At the Emmys this year, Rogen made a comment that reportedly had not been approved prior to his speech about the number of people in the audience, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how invitees were told the event would be outdoors. According to producer Ian Stewart, they had “worked for months and months to make that safe space’ as well as reaching out to health authorities to try and make the space as risk-free as possible, with the event having been ‘signed off by LA County.’
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