Chris Pratt Speaks Out About Playing Mario, Sounds Like Has Has Big Plans For The Nintendo Character’s Voice

Chris Pratt in Amazon's The Tomorrow War
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Last September, roughly four years after Illumination Entertainment’s untitled Mario movie was announced to the public, the animated feature’s voice cast was revealed, with Chris Pratt leading the charge as the man himself, Mario! We’re a little under a year away from hearing how Pratt will sound as the popular Nintendo character, but the Guardians of the Galaxy star has commented more about his upcoming vocal role, teasing how it will stand out amongst the voices we’ve heard in Mario-centric projects over the years.

It’s no secret that after Chris Pratt’s Mario casting was announced, many fans expressed confusion over why he was picked for the role, and some even campaigned for Danny DeVito to voice the character instead. While speaking with Variety, Pratt talked about how he’s put in a lot of work with the Mario filmmakers to figure out this “updated” Mario voice, saying:

I worked really closely with the directors and trying out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear. It’s an animated voiceover narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.

Chris Pratt’s comments follow a few days after Chris Meledandri, Illumination’s CEO, said that Pratt has “given such a strong performance” as Mario, and that the movie is “three-quarters done.” Meledandri also said in November that unlike Charles Martinet’s version of Mario we’ve heard in games for decades, this cinematic version on the character will not have an exaggerated Italian accent. Beyond that, we remain in the dark on how Pratt’s Mario will sound, but according to the actor, it’ll be quite the unique take.

Mario will be the fifth animated character on Chris Pratt’s resume, with the actor having previously voice Emmet Brickowski in The LEGO Movie and its sequel, Barley Lightfoot in Onward, Jake in an episode of The Batman and Cooper Daniels in a couple episodes of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. He will be the second actor to play Mario in a feature film, with Bob Hoskins filling the role in the 1993’s live-action Super Mario Bros. Pratt is also on deck to voice Garfield in a fully animated movie, succeeding Bill Murray, who voiced the orange tabby in two live-action/animated hybrid movies.

Chris Pratt will be joined in the Mario movie by Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Sebastian Maniscalco as Foreman Spike and Charles Martinet in undisclosed cameo roles. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, both of whom worked on Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, directed the feature, and Minions: The Rise of Gru’s Matthew Fogel wrote the script.

The Mario movie is now slated to come out on April 7, 2023. You can see Chris Pratt right now reprising Owen Grady in Jurassic World Dominion, and in two weeks, he’ll be back in action as Star-Lord for Thor: Love and Thunder. Scan through our 2022 release schedule to learn what other movies are heading to a theater near you soon. 

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.