Exclusive: Charlie Day, who is set to voice Luigi in the upcoming Mario movie, says the video game adaptation is as secretive as an MCU project.
The upcoming Mario movie is as secretive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to star Charlie Day. The animated adaptation of the popular Nintendo video game franchise was announced back in 2018 as a collaboration between the Japanese games juggernaut, Illumination Entertainment, and Universal. Production on the untitled Mario project has been underway since 2020, and the movie is currently scheduled to release on December 21 of this year.
Since Hollywood’s previous attempt to adapt the character for the big screen, 1993’s live-action Super Mario Bros., went so poorly, prospective audiences are eager to learn more about how directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic plan to approach the material this time. For now, most of the promotional emphasis has been on the star-studded cast, which sees Chris Pratt take on the role of Mario across from Anya Taylor-Joy’s Princess Peach. Day is cast as Luigi, Mario’s brother, while series big-bad Bowser will be voiced by Jack Black.
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During SR’s exclusive interview with Day while promoting his film I Want You Back, which hits Prime Video on February 11, the actor reveals that he’s already done a lot of recording for the Mario movie – but can hardly say what it’s about. Comparing the experience to Marvel Studios’ notorious secrecy, Day notes that he was only given enough lines to be able to do his part, with most of the script kept out of his hands. In some cases, the directors are just telling him to give them as many options as possible for them to decide in post-production, rather than give away what tone they’re looking for. Check out Day’s full comment below:
Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of recording. Although, I was talking about this last night on Kimmel, I know so little about the movie because it’s like the Marvel Universe. They released to me very specific lines, and they call me in and say, “Say Mario 7000 different ways and then we’ll pick which one we want.” So I know almost nothing. […] I’m not in the inner circle of the Nintendo World.
Whatever the intention behind the studio’s secrecy, it hasn’t stopped fans from surrounding the film with controversy. The announcement of Pratt’s casting in the lead role despite a lack of Italian heritage caused some debate online, even after the filmmakers said he won’t be doing the character’s famously exaggerated accent. That admission only added to the speculation of just what this film could look like, given that it must depart from Mario’s portrayal in the video games.
Day’s description of his recording process is also not particularly comforting. While animated films allow for a lot of flexibility when it comes to recording the vocal performances, the behind-the-scenes stories of some of the medium’s most beloved and successful examples often involve getting the performers together in a recording session. However, fans are better off reserving judgment until the Mario movie’s first footage is made available – which, given its current release date, shouldn’t be too far off.
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About The Author
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Alex is a Movie/TV News Editor & Writer at Screen Rant. After graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in English, he spent a locked-down year in Scotland completing a Master’s in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh, which he hears is a nice, lively city. He now lives in and works from Milan, Italy.
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