Shack Chat: Who would you cast as Mario in a Super Mario Bros movie besides Chris Pratt?

What isn't Chris Pratt in these days? The Shacknews Staff discusses who they would have cast as Mario in a movie instead of Pratt.


So, the Nintendo Direct September 2021 presentation happened, and we got to see a surprise announcement about who would be starring in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie. It’s not a bad cast. Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, and even Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong sound cool. Chris Pratt as Mario, though? Mmmh… So since we thought there were better choices, we put our directors’ caps on and dropped our opinion. Who would make a better Mario in a movie than Chris Pratt? The Shacknews Staff answers…

Question: Who would you cast as Mario in a Super Mario Bros movie besides Chris Pratt?

John Leguizamo - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Mario Editor

If you're of an older generation, you probably don't want to remember the original Super Mario Bros. movie. No, I don't care that it's somehow gained a cult following and now there are seriously people on Twitter going, "Well, the live action Mario movie was good, actually."

No, it wasn't. Stop that. Stop it right now!

Anyway, the general crumminess of the original Mario movie should not in any way act as a reflection of the original actors. It's not their fault they had hot garbage to work with. In that spirit, I'd love to see John Leguizamo (the original live-action Luigi) get a second crack at the Mario world. I've always liked his work, he's a funny guy, and he's done kids movies. Good ones, even! He was in Ice Age before it drowned in like five sequels.

I think Leguizamo bringing Mario to life would be a fun redemption story and a nice way for Nintendo to say, "Yes, we remember that crappy Mario movie, too, but you know what? That was OUR crappy movie!"

Charles Martinet - Donovan Erskine, Mushroom Kingdom Beat Reporter

You know who would have been way cooler to hear as Mario than Chris Pratt? Charles Martinet, the actual voice of the character. We already know he’s capable of it, and what an awesome career moment that would’ve been for him, getting to headline a blockbuster film after bringing this beloved character to life for so many years. I’m glad that he’s still involved with the film, but it would have just made sense for him to be Mario. You could still do the cast of famous actors/celebrities around him in order to get names on the poster and it would have worked just fine.

But hell, who knows. Maybe Chris Pratt will blow us all away with his rendition of our favorite Italian plumber.

Danny DeVito - Blake Morse, Could probably play Mario better than Chris Pratt

My main man Danny not only has the voice and acting chops to pull off an excellent Mario, he’s also got the body type if the need should ever arise to promote the movie in cosplay. He’s also been working with Charlie Day for over a decade on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, who just happens to be playing Luigi already. You know the two of them could riff like crazy. I feel like a grizzled, aged New Yorker is what Mario should sound like too. Maybe that comes from growing up with my Marios being played by Capt. Lou Albano on the Super Mario Super Show and a very in-character Bob Hoskins in the live-action film. But I also feel like it just fits more than a perky, young, upbeat voice like Chris Pratt’s, which just isn’t the right fit for me. But I’ve been proven wrong about casting for other films before, so what do I know?

Adam Sandler - Sam Chandler, Let’s get weird

Chris Pratt as Mario? Look, he did a fine job in the LEGO Movie, but I think there’s a better choice, and it’s Adam Sandler. I want the gritty, dirty, and desperate Adam Sandler from Uncut Gems to voice Mario. I want Howard’s desperation to shine through in Mario, who will do absolutely anything necessary to save Princess Toadstool. Let’s get dark with this. Let’s get weird.

The cast of Tiger King - Chris Jarrard, Better Opinions Than Other Staff

Yes, this was my answer for last week’s question, but the more I’ve had time to think about it, it would make a great choice for this week’s entry as well. I wouldn’t so much cast Joe Exotic as Mario rather than completely replace Mario with the Tiger King. I want to see the real Joe Exotic react to all of the things Mario would have to go through during a normal day/Princess kidnapping.

“What the hell is this? What the sh** is that?” Joe will scream as he sees Koopa Troopas for the first time. Then he will see his first Yoshi and capture it and begin illegally breeding them in Oklahoma. He’ll take in a meth’d up carny named Luigi to help him feed and care for the Yoshis. Joe’s new life raising Yoshis is threatened when Carol Bowserkins shows up and attempts to have the courts award custody of the Yoshis to her instead. Also Kirsten Dunst can play Chomp Chain.

Kevin James - Bill Lavoy, Deadeye

Look, I won’t sit here and pretend like my choice is based on solid reasoning beyond the fact I find Kevin James funny and I think he could pull off the voice. I know my choice might be a tad odd, but I would argue that the internet backlash for Kevin James being Mario would be much less than it has been for Chris Pratt. And, if we’re not doing Kevin James, I’d rather have Mario voiced by just about anyone else on this list, just not Chris Pratt. But, maybe he kills it? I dunno, but I’m sticking with Kevin James.

Artie Lange - TJ Denzer, would make a good Bowser, but Jack Black is fine, too

I was thinking over this for a while and thought if I was going to see someone play Mario, I think I’d want someone with Captain Lou Albano energy to play him. So I thought about who would best represent that and I remembered that Artie Lange is still alive. What’s more, it looks like Lange has kind of turned his life around, rethought a few things, and has become a better person for it. I know he’s had a spotty past with drug use and insensitive jokes, but given his reform, I also think his personality and energy match Mario (particularly a Captain Lou Albano-like Mario) far better than anyone else out there right now. I also happen to thing an energetic Charlie Day and a more based Artie Lange would make a good duo.

A No Name Talented Voice Actor - Greg Burke, Head of Video

I’d personally like to hold an audition and hire a talented new voice actor to tackle the role. Chris Pratt may do a great job, we have to wait and see, but it’s pretty clear that he’s a headliner to get non-Nintendo consumers to see the film. He released a video recently, saying how big a fan of Mario he is. Well to that end I’d say I’m a HUGE fan of Batman, but you wouldn’t want me playing the Dark Knight. Give some new blood a chance to shine instead of recycling AAA actors that aren’t really hurting for work.

The Terminator - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host & the right voice for Mario

During the most recent Nintendo Direct, the cast for the movie based on the Super Mario franchise was announced. Chris Pratt, who seems to be in every movie, recently, has been cast as Super Mario. That being said, it gets you thinking who would have made an even better choice for our favorite plumber from Brooklyn. If you have popped into a Stevetendo show episode where I’m playing a Mario game, you know I do a pretty good Mario voice. However, when you think about it, Mario needs to be someone you don’t mess with. How can you not put Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mario? I replaced the Italian accent with an Austrian one. So I would go with Schwarzenegger as my pick. You know… if I’m not giving the role to myself.

Robert DeNiro - Dennis White, Community Manager

Who has that gruff voice like Bob Hoskins and is actually Italian? Gotta go with the GOAT. Also I think Mario having a couple of wise guys with Luigi leading the enterprise on the streets would be pretty fascinating family drama. He’s definitely been taking less serious roles the past few years. Maybe the real story is that Bowser is just trying to encroach on the wrong turf. In all seriousness though, I think there’s a high chance that there’s a lot of chatter in this movie and nothing about Chris Pratt’s voice reads like Mario to me. I sense a potential online bullying campaign coming similar to the Sonic fans over the character design.

That covers our opinions on who should be playing in the role of Mario. Who do you think would have made the best Mario in a Super Mario Bros. movie? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty section below, and be sure to check out the movie’s full cast.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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