Mario Bros. movie poster.

10 Actors Who Would Be a Better Mario Than Chris Pratt

The internet erupted in September of 2021 when Illumination Entertainment announced that Chris Pratt would be voicing Mario in the upcoming animated film, The Super Mario Bros. Movie. This animated film will be the first film adaption of the Mario franchise in three decades. Mario first made his debut in Nintendo’s 1981 video game, Donkey Kong. Since then, he has flourished as one of the most iconic characters in the video game realm. Mario became a full-fledged gaming series and one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time.

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The character was initially supposed to be Popeye, but Nintendo failed to gain the rights to the character. Hence, using Popeye as inspiration, they debuted Mario. Mario is an Italian plumber who wears a signature red cap, red shirt, overalls, and work boots. He sports a mustache and is known for his various catchphrases including “Here we go,” “It’s a-me, Mario,” and “Mama mia!” Charles Martinet has impressively portrayed Mario in numerous video games.

Yet, Illumination forewent Martinet in favor of Pratt for the voice of Mario. While Pratt has the platform and allure of a Hollywood star, Mario fans couldn’t help but notice that the actor’s voice hardly resembles Mario’s voice. In addition to this, he boasts very few voice-acting credits to bolster his resume. When The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s trailer dropped, viewers confirmed that Mario would merely have the voice of Pratt with hardly any accent or characteristic inflection. Illumination chose Pratt for his star power rather than his voice-acting skills. Here are 10 actors who would be better voice actors for Mario than Pratt.

Charles Martinet

Charles Martinet is the most obvious choice to voice Mario. Martinet is an extremely skilled voice actor and a veteran of Nintendo. He has been voicing Mario since 1992 and has also voiced other Nintendo characters including Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and Baby Mario. While The Super Mario Bros. Movie didn’t sign him on to play Mario, Martinet will guest star in the film in various cameo roles.

What’s most frustrating about Martinet not voicing Mario in the film is that he wanted to do it. In an interview on Stardust Blaze’s YouTube channel, Martinet expressed interest in voicing Mario for the film. He stated, “If they [Illumination] invite me to play, I’ll go in and play with great joy and happiness.” Martinet has the skill and experience to play Mario, plus an interest in doing it for the film. Not to mention numerous fans and fellow voice actors would support him in doing the role. He should’ve been the top choice for the role.

Danny DeVito

cast danny devito in everything.
(Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Danny DeVito is one actor that has been excessively fan cast as the voice of Mario. DeVito is an American actor and filmmaker best known for his roles in Batman Returns, Matilda, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Additionally, he has done an array of voice work over the years such as voicing The Lorax in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Philoctetes in Hercules. Meanwhile, DeVito was offered the role of Mario once before, for the live-action Super Mario Bros. film in 1993. Due to scheduling conflicts, though, he turned down the role.

However, fans have not stopped wishing to see DeVito fulfill the role. DeVito is an iconic and extremely talented actor. Given his experience in voice acting, he could likely pull off Mario’s signature voice. Even if he couldn’t exactly match the tone, he has the humor and charisma to make the role work regardless. DeVito has the skill to portray Mario, as well as the immense support of fans, making him an excellent choice for the role.

Robert De Niro

(Warner Bros.)

Robert De Niro is another American actor and producer who has been fan cast as Mario. De Niro is best known for his roles in Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Joker. He hasn’t had many voice-acting roles before, but he’s one actor who has the natural voice to play Mario. We’ve heard him don an Italian accent before and even speak Sicilian in The Godfather Part II. He has made a name for himself portraying characters of Italian descent and is of Italian heritage himself.

De Niro is a highly recognizable and well-decorated actor who has the support of fans for the role of Mario. In addition to this, given that Mario has typically been portrayed as Italian, it would be nice for an actor of Italian descent who can pull off a pretty authentic Italian accent to have the role.

Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings as the voice of animated Winnie the Pooh

If anyone can pull off the voice of Mario, it would be Jim Cummings. Cummings is one of the best voice actors of our generation and has boasted over 400 voice roles since the 1980s. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, The Tasmanian Devil, and Mickey Mouse’s Pete, make up just a few of his roles. Fans rallied around him for the voice of Bowser when The Super Mario Bros. Movie announcement first came out. After all, he does tend to portray characters with deeper voices.

However, there’s no doubt he could pull off both Mario and Bowser, and probably every other character in the film to boot. He can do low or high voices, evil or mellow tones, and mimic an array of different accents. Just watch this video below to see the wide range that Cummings can pull off and you won’t be left with any doubt that he could easily voice Mario, too.

John DiMaggio

John DiMaggio is another talented American voice actor who fans have cast in multiple Mario roles. Fans have suggested he voice Mario, Bowser, or even Wario for The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Like Cummings, the wide range of voices that DiMaggio can do is unbelievable. His roles include Jake the Dog on Adventure Time, Bender in Futurama, and Sandman in The Spectacular Spider-Man. DiMaggio can just about do it all with either low or high voices, accent or no accent, etc. However, he does have a specialty for deeper, raspier voices. There’s no doubt that he could pull off Mario and that he has the experience and talent to make him worthy of the role.

Josh Gad

Josh Gad as McQueen in Murder on the Orient Express
(20th Century Fox)

Josh Gad is an American actor who has been heavily advocated by fans to play Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Gad has found success in the film industry as both a live-action actor and a voice actor. He has starred in such films as Beauty and the Beast and Murder on the Orient Express. However, his most famous role is as the voice of Olaf the Snowman in Disney’s Frozen franchise. He also has additional voice acting credits in A Dog’s Journey, The Angry Birds Movie, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Needless to say, Gad has voice acting talent and experience. He is so talented that he brought Olaf to life in a way no one expected and propelled the character to fame. Additionally, he has great comedic skills, charisma, and optimism, which could translate well to Mario. Gad is a talented actor who could likely get close to matching Mario’s tone and who could easily let Mario’s personality shine through his voice.

John C. Reilly

John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy. (Disney)

John C. Reilly is an American actor who has mainly done live-action acting but has a few impressive voice acting credits under his belt, too. Reilly has largely done comedy since the early 2000s, appearing in such films as Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Stan and Ollie. He is also well known for voicing Ralph in Disney’s animated Wreck-It-Ralph films. Reilly also voiced Eddie in Universal Pictures’ Sing.

While he doesn’t have extensive voice acting experience, he did manage to bring Ralph to life in an iconic way. Additionally, Reilly frequently manages to evoke humor, liveliness, and confidence in his tone. His voice may be a bit low to match Mario’s exactly, but he’s an actor who would be sure to put his whole heart into Mario and would have the personality and comedic timing down to pat. Plus, he has been fan cast for the role of Mario, too, meaning he’d have support behind him.

Al Pacino

Al Pacino in Amazon's Hunters.

Al Pacino is another American actor who has been fan cast for the role of Mario. When news first broke that Pratt was voicing Mario, fans immediately began suggesting Pacino take the role. They especially wanted to see him voice Mario and Robert De Niro voice Luigi so the two could work together once more. Pacino is one of the most influential and decorated actors in Hollywood. He has appeared in such works as Scarface, The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, and House of Gucci. In addition to this, he is one of the few actors to have won at least one Academy Award, Emmy, and Tony Award.

Pacino is a talented actor, his voice is also naturally suited for Mario, and he is of Italian descent, having been born to Italian-American parents. Few actors would be more worthy to voice Mario than Pacino. The only problem is that he seldom does voice-acting roles and Mario may be a little outside of the typical range of his work. Still, it’s fun to think about what The Super Mario Bros. Movie would be like with him and his best friend De Niro as Mario and Luigi, respectively.

Jack Black

Jack Black in School of Rock
(Paramount Pictures)

Jack Black is already in The Super Mario Bros. Movie as the voice of Bowser but could’ve just as easily slipped into the role of Mario. While Black is most well-known for acting and comedy, he is a very talented voice actor, as well. He has proven this over the years with his phenomenal work as the voice of Po in DreamWorks’ Kung fu Panda franchise. Black has done additional voice acting work in such projects as Shark Tales and The Simpsons.

When the trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie dropped, fans were very impressed with Black’s impression of Bowser. He managed to flawlessly give Bowser a deep, guttural dragon-like tone, which is the complete opposite of the very high voice he uses as Po. Black boasts incredible range when it comes to voice acting, plus he’s talented, experienced, and has great comedic timing. He could honestly do both Bowser and Mario and still be a better Mario than Pratt. He’s like Cummings in that he could just voice all the characters in the movie and it’d probably be alright.

Joe Pesci

Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino in The Irishman

Joe Pesci is an Academy Award-winning actor, as well as a musician. He is best known for starring in Raging Bulls, Goodfellas, and The Irishman. Pesci is also of Italian descent, with family origins in Turin, Italy. Additionally, he has been fan cast as the voice of either Mario or Luigi. There are suggestions he was also considered for the role of Mario in the 1993 live-action film. He has the voice, talent, and status that his portrayal of Mario would be well-received. Unfortunately, Pesci retired from acting in 2016 to pursue music, though he did make an exception in 2019 for The Irishman. Like De Niro and Pacino, Pesci would be a great choice for Mario, albeit an unlikely one.

(featured image: Illumination Entertainment)

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Image of Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.