John Leguizamo criticizes “Super Mario Bros.” casting

“So they’ll walk backwards and not throw another one [actor of color] kinda sucks,” Leguizamo, who starred in the live-action version of the upcoming 1993 animated film.

John Leguizamo says Mamma Mia to the new “Super Mario Bros.” Gießen.

Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the 1993 live-action film opposite Bob Hoskins’ Mario, exclusively told IndieWire at the New York premiere of The Menu that the casting for the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. movie will go “backwards goes”. The film made waves after it was announced that Chris Pratt would play Mario alongside Charlie Day’s Luigi. None of the actors are of Italian descent.

“I’m OG A lot of people love the original. I’ve been to Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore and everyone was like, ‘No, no, we love the old, the original.’ They don’t feel the new,” Leguizamo told IndieWire. “I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.”

Leguizamo recalled his role as Luigi in the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie. “Directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard to get me to do the lead because I’m Latino and they are [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead. They fought really hard and it was such a breakthrough. So that they go backwards and don’t throw anyone else [actor of color] kinda sucks.”

The Menu’s Leguizamo co-star Anya Taylor-Joy voices Princess Peach in the upcoming animated makeover, starring Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad. The film opens on April 7, 2023.

Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Producer and Illumination Studios, quashed any doubts about lead actor Pratt and his lack of Italian ancestry earlier this year.

“We are working with Chris and his experienced team to create not just a character-licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment, the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ brought to life on screen and allows everyone to enjoy it whether they know the game or not,” Meledandri said of Deadline during the CineEurope conference. “When people hear Chris Pratt perform, the criticism evaporates, maybe not entirely — people love speaking their minds like they should.”

Meledandri continued, “I’m not sure if that’s the smartest defense, but as a person of Italian-American heritage, I feel like I can make that decision without worrying about being Italian or Italian-American.” offend…I think we’re going to just be good.”

Reporting by Vincent Perella.

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Lindsay Lowe

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