After nearly thirty years of fans waiting for another movie, everyone’s favourite plumbers are making their big-screen comeback. During the latest Nintendo Direct, the voice cast of the new Super Mario Bros animated movie was revealed. However, John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the live-action Super Mario Bros movie back in 1993, was quick to point out the lack of Latin-American representation in Nintendo’s new line-up.
Nintendo revealed that the new Super Mario Bros movie stars would be Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Mario, and Charlie Day (The Lego Movie) as Luigi. Jack Black will voice Bowser, and Anya Taylor Joy will play Princess Peach. In response to the casting news, Leguizamo took to social media to point out that, unlike the ‘90s live-action, there was a distinct lack of Latinx actors in a film centred around two Italian brothers.
The actor tweeted: “So glad Super Mario Bros is getting a reboot! Obviously, it’s iconic enough. But too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Ground-breaking colour-blind casting in original! Plus, I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!”
We assume that Leguizamo’s comments refer directly to Pratt and Day’s casting specifically, as the new cast weren’t “all white” as his tweet claimed. Nintendo did reveal that Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen and Kevin Michael Richardson are also on board and will be playing Toad, Cranky Kong and Kamek, respectively.
However, Leguizamo’s point of the leads in the new flick not being Latinx does hit home. In some ways, it feels as if Nintendo has chosen to take a step back in terms of representation, whereas the ‘90s live-action movie celebrated it.
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! Plus I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script wise! pic.twitter.com/lNokmdpwMq
— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) September 27, 2021
While it flopped critically and at the box-office, the 1993 Super Mario Bros movie was an important part of cinematic history, being the first live-action adaptation of a videogame. Despite only grossing $38.9 million against an estimated $42 – 48 million budget, the adventure movie is regarded as a cult classic. Keeping the original’s rocky yet notable history in mind, we are curious to see what Leguizamo’s potential script ideas would look like.
However, Leguizamo will have to get in line if he wants to write a Mario movie. The new film’s script has been penned by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru) and will be directed by the Teen Titans Go! To the Movies duo Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.
The currently untitled new Super Mario Bros. film is set to release on December 21, 2022. While we wait on updates, here is our list of the best family movies for you to enjoy.