John Leguizamo is disappointed that the new “Super Mario Bros. Movie” hasn’t got a diverse cast of voice actors.
John Leguizamo is doubling down on criticizing Universal and Illumination’s animated film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which casts Chris Pratt and Charlie Day in the leading voice roles of Mario and Luigi. Leguizamo brought Luigi to life in a live-action format opposite Bob Hoskins’ Mario in 1993’s “Super Mario Bros.” The actor told TMZ on the day “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opened in theaters that he won’t be watching it due to the casting.
“No I will not [be watching]. They could’ve included a Latin character,” Leguizamo said. “Like I was groundbreaking and then they stopped the groundbreaking. They messed up the inclusion. They dis-included. Just cast some Latin folk! We’re 20% of the population. The largest people of color group and we are underrepresented.”
When asked again by TMZ if he would be watching the movie, Leguizamo answered: “Hell no!”
Leguizamo first spoke out against the new animated movie on Twitter last October, writing that a Mario movie reboot was a good idea but it was “too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in original! Plus I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script-wise!”
Speaking to IndieWire in November, Leguizamo said “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is “backwards” for having two white actors voice Mario and Luigi.
“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original,” Leguizamo said when asked for his thoughts on the Chris Pratt-starring new Mario movie. “I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one.’ I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.”
“The directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and they [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead,” the actor added. “They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough. For them to go backwards and not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks.”
While Princess Peach voice actor Anya Taylor-Joy Taylor-Joy has Argentine ancestry and lived in Argentina for several years as a child, Leguizamo appears to be focusing his ire on the lack of inclusion regarding the main roles of Mario and Luigi.
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is now playing in theaters nationwide.