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Super Mario Bros. fans concerned about what a Chris Pratt Italian accent might sound like can (maybe) rest a little easier.
The actor, who has been tapped to voice Mario in an upcoming animated movie based on the iconic Nintendo video game franchise, has addressed the concerns, promising that his version is "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 told Variety at the Wednesday night premiere of his new Amazon Prime Video series The Terminal List. "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."
Rich Fury/WireImage; Nintendo Chris Pratt will voice Mario in the 'Super Mario Bros.' movie
On Monday, Illumination CEO and Super Mario Bros. producer Chris Meledandri also addressed the concerns as part of a live discussion at the start of CineEurope convention. "When people hear Chris Pratt's performance, the criticism will evaporate, maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should," he said, adding, "I'm not sure this is the smartest defense, but as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans... I think we're going to be just fine."
In addition to Pratt, the film has an all-star voice cast that includes Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, and more.
Super Mario Bros., which is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, was set to debut in December before Universal and Nintendo pushed the film back to a North American release date of April 7, 2023.