"But too bad they went all white!"
John Leguizamo, the original Luigi from the 'Super Mario Bros' movie from 1993 has voiced his disappointment with the cast of the upcoming animation from Nintendo and Illumination.
The entertainment empire announced last week that Chris Pratt would be voicing video game legend Mario, while Charlie Day will voice his brother Luigi. Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key and Seth Rogen round out the cast as Princess Peach, Bowser, Toad, and Donkey Kong, respectively.
No matter what age you are, chances are that you've played at least one 'Super Mario' game in your lifetime. The epic tale of an Italian plumber journeying to distant lands to rescue his princess-in-need has been around since 1985, spanning countless sequels and spin-offs, ultimately building up to him being one of the most recognisable gaming icons ever known. Plus, voice actor Charles Martinet has been that "It's-a me Mario!" voice since 1995. What angle Chris Pratt brings to the table as the plumbing hero remains to be seen.
57-year-old John Leguizamo played Mario's brother Luigi in the '90s film, which is now a cult classic. Upon its release, however, the film was critically panned, and it has taken Nintendo nearly 30 years to feel confident enough to once again let their mascot be given the Hollywood treatment.
The late Bob Hoskins played Mario in the original film, and both leading actors are of non-white descent. Leguizamo has taken to Twitter to voice his disappointment at the "all white" cast of the animation film.
He writes: "So glad #superMariobros is getting a reboot! Obviously it’s iconic enuff. But 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!"
The actor also attached pictures from the '90s film, asking for critics to "apologize" for being so harsh on the adaptation.
Following his role as Luigi in 'Super Mario Bros', John Leguizamo went on to be cast in a number of high profile movie roles, including 'Moulin Rouge!', 'Romeo + Juliet', and the 'John Wick' franchise.