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Chris Pratt Is Mario

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BY April 29, 2022

In the late 1900s, the Super Mario Bros. movie stomped on its own genre like plumber does to a goomba out on its morning constitutional. Video game movies didn’t recover for a while, and Bowser’s tiny head is probably why I didn’t get to pine after a cinematic version of Samus. It has been 28 years. Apparently that’s long enough, because Nintendo is teaming up with the studio behind Despicable Me to bring us a new Mario movie. And Chris Pratt is Mario. 

Chris Pratt is Mario 

Squeeze the life from that knowledge like Andy Dwyer wrings the life from Ann Perkins in season 1 of Parks and Rec. Chris Pratt is a fine actor. He rocks his role as Star Lord and made for a good LEGO. And yeah, he does have some experience with dinosaurs, but this is a lot to take in. This is like if, in the Obi Wan series, Ewan McGregor was replaced with Steve Harvey. This is the blue shell we really could not have seen coming. Good thing the rest of the cast doesn’t come with any surprises. 

Chris Pratt is Mario Image via Universal Pictures.

Or maybe it does. Jack Black is going to be Bowser. That seems like it could actually work. Bowser is a villain that absolutely adores doing all his villainy. He’s a turtle with a mullet that breathes fire and ruins board game night. And Jack Black has never done a role that he doesn’t seem to be loving with every ounce of his soul. And, upon review, a lot of Jack Black’s fully-body gyrations kind of line up perfectly with Bowser’s move-set in Super Smash. 

Seth Rogan will be Donkey Kong. This seems like one of those decisions that will get better the longer it festers, but it’s so hard not to picture the dude from Pineapple Express in a classic DK red tie bursting out a barrel and duking it out with the nearest plumber. But Seth Rogan has changed while still retaining some of that same kind of flavor. He may still burst out of the barrel, but modern Seth Rogan at least knows how he got in there. 

Anya Taylor-Joy will be Princess Peach. This is one of the only details of this news that doesn’t really require any deeper thought to understand. She has the poise, the stone-cold composure, and Peach would absolutely decide to live deliciously and sign her name in Black Philip’s book of the damned. Peach didn’t learn to explode people with a hip-check from Princess school, and Anya Taylor-Joy is the right person to capture that. 

But Chris Pratt is Still Mario

There’s a good way to go about a surprise creative decision like this one. Remember first hearing about Detective Pikachu? It was ridiculous. Deadpool was going to be Pikachu, and he was going to solve mysteries? Weird, good thing it’s not the only Pokémon movie to come out in decades. Good thing if it bombs, you can just go watch the scene where Ash gets turned into a statue and Pikachu cries him back to life. 

Chris Pratt is Mario Image via TV Tokyo

If people hate this movie, what are they going to turn to? The other Mario movie that bombed? There are at least two surprisingly good decisions adjacent to this Chris Pratt Mario, and that’s what makes it so hard to understand. It’s like you agree to play chess with a master, and the first move they make is slapping a halibut down on the board. You move a piece, and then they do a full Calabrese Counter Gambit, but the fish is still on the board. 

There are a few other things evident in the current Mario cast list. The stunning absence of Yoshi, for one. But maybe they’re having trouble securing a contract with the raptor that played Blue in Jurassic World.  It’s clearly unfinished, but this cast list is just relentless. Keegan-Michael Key is going to be Toad, and Charlie Day is going to be Luigi. Kevin Michael Richardson will also be voicing Kamek, Fred Armisen will be Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco is going to be  Foreman Spike.  Fine, sure. These are such incredible, talented people, but throwing a bunch of talented people at an intellectual property isn’t going to make it good. Cats 2019 had an equally star-studded cast, and I still won’t forgive myself for making that the last movie I saw in theaters. 

Buckle up, Chris Pratt is Mario. Seth Rogan is a large ape. What if Waluigi ends up being Kelsey Grammer and Wario is just a cactus that farts? Whatever happens, this is going to be a weird Rainbow Road of production.

How does it feel living in the timeline where Chris Pratt is going to be Mario? Tweet us your own Mario cast lists, especially who should play Yoshi (and why it’s obviously Danny DeVito).

Featured image via Nintendo.

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Jessica Kanzler is a freelance writer and editor who lives with her wife and cats. Jessica has bad taste in tv and an MA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media studies. Talk to her about Frasier on Twitter @Jessicaakanzler

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