Actor Boycotting New ‘Super Mario Bros’ Movie Because Latino Not Cast To Voice Italian Brothers

Actor John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the 1993 live-action “Super Mario Bros.” movie, is boycotting the new animated adaptation of the video game series over a supposed lack of Latino diversity.

Leguizamo is Colombian and suggested the new movie should have cast a Latino actor to play at least one of the brothers. Notably, the characters of Mario and Luigi are Italian.

“No, I will not be watching ‘Super Mario Bros,’” Leguizamo told TMZ on Thursday. “They could have included a Latin character — like, I was groundbreaking, and they stopped the groundbreaking. They messed up! They messed up the inclusion, they dis-included.”

Actors Chris Pratt and Charlie Day are voicing Mario and Luigi, respectively, in the new animated movie.

“Cast some Latin folk. Just cast some Latin folk,” the actor added. “We’re 20% of the population; the largest ‘people of color’ group, and we’re under-represented — over-represented in the worst kind of jobs, though.”

“So, no ‘Super Mario Bros.’ for you?” the TMZ reporter pressed Leguizamo. “Hell no,” the actor answered.

Early on, Pratt caught flak over his casting to voice the Italian character even though he is not Italian. Day, who voices Luigi, is part Italian.

Pratt, though, is not using the thick Italian actor fans are used to, instead sounding more like an Italian-American living in New York City.


“I — you know, come watch the movie,” Pratt recently said in response to the criticism, The Daily Wire reported. “Go watch the movie and then we can talk. I really think that once you see the movie — and, you know what? In all honesty, I think you probably need to watch it twice.”

Pratt went on to acknowledge that there were a lot of super-fans in the “Super Mario Bros.” fanbase — counting himself among them — and he said that he absolutely understood that no one wanted to see a movie company come in and change a piece of their childhood in order to make a “cash grab.”

“This is the soundtrack to your youth, and you don’t want someone to come along and cynically kind of just destroy it as a cash grab with the movie,” he said. “I fully understand that, you do not want that to happen. And there are so many hearts and souls and minds dedicated to making sure that didn’t happen … it really honors the video game and honors the world of Mario.”

Virginia Kruta contributed to this report 

Related: ‘You Probably Need To Watch It Twice’: Chris Pratt Reacts To Criticism Over ‘Mario Bros’ Accent

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