According to Chris Pratt, his voice performance as Mario in the upcoming feature adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. video game will be “unlike anything you’ve heard.”
Variety got the chance to catch up with Pratt at the Wednesday night premiere of his new Amazon Prime Video series “The Terminal List” (more on that later!) to talk about finding his voice for the film, which co-stars Charlie Day as Luigi.
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There’s been much internet discussion over Pratt’s casting in the animated film as the Italian plumber despite his non-Italian background, with critics expressing concern that his accent could potentially be offensive. However, the film’s co-producer, Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri, defended Pratt’s casting and vowed that his voice work is “phenomenal” in a recent interview with TooFab. Pratt echoed Meledandri’s sentiment, telling Variety that Mario’s voice has been “updated.”
“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,” Pratt said. “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.”
The untitled Universal movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, will hit theaters next April. Rounding out the cast are Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Kevin Michael Richardson, Fred Armisen and Sebastian Maniscalco.
Pratt hit last night’s carpet on the heels of another dino-blockbuster. In its second weekend of release, “Jurassic World Dominion” brought in a domestic gross of $259 million. It’s Pratt’s third film in the six-installment franchise.
He has no plans to reprise the role of Owen again, but who knows what the future could hold. “It seemed pretty intentional that this was just three movies,” Pratt said. “It felt like a trilogy.”
Sure, but if he wanted another “Jurassic” film, he could probably make it happen, right?
“I’d have to read the script,” Pratt said. “I can think of a million ways to contrive bringing Owen back, but I would want it to be authentic and real and be worthy of the story. I would say no, but I guess you can’t rule it out 1,000%.”
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