Salvare la principessa! Salvare il film! The Super Bros are back, and their adventure is on the big screen this time. That’s right; the 1985 classic Super Mario Bros. is finally making its way to Hollywood again with The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Established star Chris Pratt is Mario in the upcoming film, in a move that’s brought criticism from some. But one person in the production thinks Pratt is perfect for the role of Mario.
Created in 1985 by Nintendo, Mario Bros has been one of the longest-running franchises in the company’s history. The arcade game involves the story of two Italian brothers who are plumbers by trade that find themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom on a quest to save Princess Peach from the evil grasp of King Bowser. With over 40 million game copies sold across Nintendo platforms, the brother’s quest has finally landed a motion production but not without controversy.
Salvare la Principessa! Salvare il Film!
Save the princess! Save the film! Our Mario, Chris Pratt, has been tasked with two main objectives. When news of the movie came out via sneak peeks and a short trailer, buzz around the cast was inevitable. The primary reason is that we were given a glimpse of Mario in the first trailer, but we couldn’t hear the one thing that makes him such an iconic character—the voice.
After a second trailer fans were given what they wanted, and much to everyone’s surprise, Mario doesn’t sound like the bubbling Italian we grew up with. Instead, what we heard was Chris Pratt, just animated.
A Familiar Hero
After receiving tons of backlash on Pratts’s accent and fans believing seniority should belong to the original Mario voice actor, Charles Martinet, Co-Director Aaron Horvath has come to the defense of his lead actor.
The movie tells the origin story of how Mario goes from a regular blue-collar plumber in Brooklyn with his brother to a hero. “He’s really good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart,” says Horvath when questioned on the decision to stick with Pratt.
References to other projects under the actor’s belt, including the Lego movie and Guardians of the Galaxy, where he plays the lead as an underdog hero, were a big part in the decision-making process. “For the way that Mario is characterized in our film, he’s perfect for it,” says Horvath.
Bank or Bust
With this being the franchise’s first feature film in many years and already starting with a bit of controversy, it could prove to be a big payday or a showtime bust. However, from what we’ve seen Chris Pratt do on the big screen, it should be easy to win fans over again as he is known for his quick wit and charisma whenever he portrays any character on screen.
As far as video game adaptions go, the most successful crossover to date has been the Warcraft movie, which grossed around $440 million worldwide. In terms of popularity, the Super Mario franchise would be the closest competitor based on global gameplay
With Illumination, the company behind the Despicable Me and Minions films producing, and Matt Fogel, the writer for Lego Movie 2, also adding his expertise; the film should be in safe hands.
An all-star studded cast, a team of talented writers, and a fantastic production company have everything Super Mario Bros needs to succeed at the box office. Set to release in April; I’m sure fans will be out in waves to celebrate and critique. Despite mixed opinions on the voice, this film will be successful because Chris Pratt’s unique quality makes you want to root for him to succeed.
Everyone loves an underdog story and when you mix that with generations of nostalgia and new memories from a franchise known worldwide to all ages, people are going to enjoy the film. Maybe we’ll finally figure out how Bowser keeps getting the drop on Peach and if Toad is the most lovable face in Mushroom Kingdom after all.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie releases April 5, 2023 in theaters.
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