The best reactions to the Super Mario Bros movie's bizarre cast choices

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Chris Pratt will now play Mario, the internet has learned. That's just one of the interesting casting choices made for the Super Mario Bros. movie from Despicable Me studio Illumination that were revealed by creator Shigeru Miyamoto last night.

As social media catastrophes go, this is high on the scale – casting has divided players, and some of the choices ask interesting questions about where exactly the story is going. 

Alongside Pratt, who's appeared as a voice actor in films like The Lego Movie and Onward, The Queen's Gambit's Anya-Taylor Joy will play Princess Peach. Always Sunny's Charlie Day plays Luigi, Mario's brother, while Jack Black plays Bowser, Keegan Michael-Key plays Toad and Seth Rogen stars as Donkey Kong. Original Mario voice Charles Martinet will appear in some capacity, but seemingly for the odd cameo or supporting character rather than the red plumber himself.

These are tough parts to cast, when you really think about it. In the games, Mario is a sort of caricatured Italian plumber – this is an expensive Hollywood movie, though, and an American all-star cast was always going to be the approach that a major studio took. The goal is to sell the film to people who are only vaguely familiar with the games, which big movie stars theoretically do. 

Still, that doesn't prevent the cast from seeming... wrong somehow. You look at this list and it's not quite right. It's hard to match these actors' voices to the characters if you're familiar with the games – they've all got such a distinctive way of speaking that these decisions seem careless, if not a bit cynical, especially when Nintendo is so traditionally protective of its intellectual properties. 

That said, there's no way to know how it'll turn out until the movie releases in December 2022. But we can still make fun of the whole thing right now! Check out the best reactions to the Mario cast news below.

We'll start with the divided reaction to Chris Pratt playing Mario:

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Pratt's history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe offers its own potential for jokes, of course. 

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The choice to announce Pratt's casting with a black-and-white headshot was another odd element of the whole thing.

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Charlie Day's casting as Luigi seems fairly well-received, with people asking the very reasonable question of why he wasn't teamed up with Always Sunny co-star Danny DeVito as Mario:

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The classic Always Sunny conspiracy meme also comes up a lot on social media right now.

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At least most of us can agree that Jack Black is a fun call as Bowser.

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Not every Mario character was accounted for in the casting, with some wondering if Mario's dark mirror Wario will make the cut in the film.

Some are also petitioning that Adam Driver plays Wario's brother, Waluigi – with Photoshopped evidence to help make that case. We'd watch it. 

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That was one heck of a night. Fred Armisen, Kevin Michael Richardson and Sebastian Maniscalco will also appear in the film. The Super Mario Bros. movie arrives on December 21, 2022. 

This article has been edited to remove one entry.

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.