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Harley Quinn voice actor criticises Chris Pratt Mario casting: ‘It should be Charles’
The first trailer for the film was released earlier this week
A prominent voice actor has criticised Nintendo and Illumination for not using Nintendo veteran Charles Martinet as the voice of Nintendo’s mascot in the upcoming animated film.
Tara Strong, who is one of the most prolific active voice actors thanks to her roles as Harley Quinn, Timmy Turner (Fairly Odd Parents), and Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony) among dozens of others, posted several tweets in support of Martinet following the release of the first trailer for the Super Mario Bros movie.
“It should be Charles,” tweeted Strong, posting a picture of the two actors together holding an image of a Mario-themed My Little Pony.
In another tweet, Strong more directly criticised Nintendo and Illumination, saying “Voice actors- I’m gonna put my heart & soul in this for at least 20 years, help sell billions in merch, make the studios millions of dollars & make generations around the world happy. Hollywood- We don’t care.”
Considering Martinet’s long association with the Nintendo mascot, Chris Pratt was a controversial choice for the movie role. Unsurprisingly, fans have already used AI to insert Martinet’s voice into the Mario movie trailer.
While some had criticised the film for casting Pratt as the plumber when it was first announced earlier this year, the co-producer of the film has publicly defended him.
After being approached by a toofab reporter last year at LAX airport, Illumination co-founder and CEO Chris Meledandri was asked how Chris Pratt was going to pull off Mario’s voice.
“All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us and Mario is phenomenal,” Meledandri replied. “I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Meledandri was then asked why an Italian wasn’t cast for the role (despite the fact that Mario’s usual voice actor Charles Martinet himself isn’t Italian), to which he replied: “Well, as an Italian-American myself I understand the comments. Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi actually, comes from an Italian heritage. So that’s our nod.”
Strong later asked her followers to send love to Charles Martinet, asking them to share pictures they may have with the actor or personal stories from meeting him at conventions. This led to an outpouring of support, much of which was liked on Twitter by Martinet himself.
Martinet will appear in the film in a cameo role, according to the original announcement. Martinet has voiced Mario, Wario, Luigi, Waluigi, Baby Luigi, Baby Mario for over two decades.
While not commenting directly on the trailer, he has liked several tweets supporting him, and suggesting that he should have been the voice of Mario in the film too.
The Super Mario Bros Movie is due to be released in North America on April 7, 2023.