Mario Producer Hints Chris Pratt's Plumber Doesn't Have an Italian Accent

The co-producer of the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film is hinting that Chris Pratt, who was controversially cast in the lead role of Mario for the movie, might not be using an Italian accent for the character in his performance.

Chris Meledandri, who founded Illumination Entertainment and is behind such major animated film franchises like Despicable Me, Minions and The Secret Life of Pets, made his hinting comments about Pratt's accent during a recent interview with TooFab where Meledandri defended the casting of Pratt in the role, explaining, "All I can tell you is the voice that he's doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal. Yeah I can't wait for people to hear it."

RELATED: Super Mario Producer Defends Chris Pratt's Controversial Casting

However, while he complimented Pratt, Meledandri seemed to suggest that Pratt would not be performing Mario with the Italian accent that has been a hallmark of the character for the past 30 years. First, Melendanri brought up criticism from Italian Americans, noting, "Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. You know, I understand the comments. Charlie Day, who's playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah so that's our nod."

Melendanri then hinted at how the accent would be handled in the film. First, he explained, "We cover it in the movie. So you'll see we definitely nod to that." However, he suggested that Pratt will no be leaning into the accent that Charles Martinet has famously been using for Mario for decades, "That's not the tenor of the performance throughout the film," he said.

RELATED: Super Mario Bros. Animated Film Is 'Pretty Much Done,' Says Miyamoto

It's interesting to note that Mario's Italian accent was not always present with the character. In fact, in the early days of the character (when he did not actually speak in the original Donkey Kong or Mario Bros. video games), it wasn't clear that he was even meant to be Italian.

When Mario made his debut as a cartoon character on the Saturday Supercade animated series in 1983 (the cartoon was a collection of short cartoons featuring video game characters). There, eh was voiced by future Optimus Prime voice actor, Peter Cullen, and Cullen did not use an Italian accent for Mario.

It was really the French-American Martinet that established the famous "It's a-me, Mario!" accent that we all know and love, so if Pratt does move away from that in the upcoming film, it will not be without some support in past Mario projects.

KEEP READING: Nintendo Plans To Turn More IPs Into Films, Says Super Mario Creator

Source: TooFab

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Brian Cronin (15129 Articles Published)

CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over a dozen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at, the Los Angeles Times,, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you'd like to see featured at [email protected]!

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