A fair share of people familiar with the game Super Mario Bros. is also familiar with the name Charles Martinet. The person behind the iconic voice of Mario and his brother Luigi, Charles Martinet was born on September 17, 1955. He is an American voice artist known for his contributions to the Super Mario video games series since 1992.
Why Charles Martinet Isn’t Voicing Mario In The Super Mario Bros Movie?
With the new movie titled‘Super Mario Bros’ all set to hit theaters worldwide on 27 April 2023, questions are arising as to why Charles Martinet was not the choice to voice the characters in the film. Instead of the original voice, popular Hollywood actor Chris Pratt was chosen to voice Mario, and actor Charlie Day was chosen to voice Mario’s brother Luigi.
Even though it is true that Charles Martinet is the person behind the voice of Mario for years, the fact that Martinet had not been part of any large movie projects and that his main area of expertise is with video games needs to be noted.
To work with a character in a movie is different from video games and it requires a large range to portray the emotions through their voice. This does not mean that the work Charles Martinet had been doing is not significant but just implies that the platforms are entirely different.
Also considering the statistics, it is only sensible casting a hero like Chris Pratt who has track records of being part of massive commercially successful projects with millions of viewers all around the world, compared to the limited audience of Charles Martinet.
The face of Chris Pratt is an internationally recognized image. He’s been a part of some of the biggest movie projects like MCU’s ‘Avengers’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’and also movies from the ‘Jurassic World’ franchise. The hype, popularity and reach the movie will gain by casting such an actor is pretty huge.
The acceptability and the urge people will have to watch the film is far more than what would be if Martinet was the main cast in the movie.
Mario is not a man of big words. There are only a few instances where Mario talks continuously in the game. But when it comes to films, that will not be the case. We can be sure that Mario will be taking for most of his part, unlike the video game. According to Charles Martinet, what he had in mind for the Brooklyn-based Italian plumber was the stereotypical Italian-American accent with a deep and raspy voice.
But thinking that it would be difficult for the children to understand the accent, Martinet changed it to the version that we hear today. As entertaining as the Martinet version is, sitting through a full 90-minute movie can also turn out to be not as engaging as it should be.
When casting actors for a movie that is built on an iconic character, star value or star power is an important factor. The movie ‘Super Mario’ which was released in 1993 was not as big a hit as anticipated and it even ended up on the list of worst movies ever made. Nintendo does not want history to repeat itself.
Casting Chris Pratt who is well-received by the audience tends to lower the mentioned risk factor to a level more than the name Charles Martinet can. Also, the total budget of the movie is estimated to be around $80 million. The budget amount is comparatively less for a movie based on an iconic video game. Movies like ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Call of duty’ came out on massive budgets and Nintendo or Illumination does not want to raise the question of if it’s worth bringing Charles Martines into the film and taking the risk.
Though there are doubts regarding the performance of Chris Pratt as Mari and that he is often seen as the only misfit in the entire cast for the film the global reach and acceptance for the star is indeed much bigger than it will be for Charles Martinet.
With the release of the movie’s teaser trailer, people were able to hear the voice of Chris Pratt as Mario. The teaser trailer featured two dialogues from Mario which say “what is this place ?” and “The Mushroom Kingdom, here we come”. The instant reaction from fans was that Chris Pratt just sounded plain and just like himself.
But even if Chis did not live up to the expectation of the fans, it does not make Charles Martinet the next best choice as there are factors which were mentioned above that needs to be taken into consideration.
Whether cast as Mario in the movie or not Charles Martinet is an absolute legend. His iconic rendition of the character will be remembered by people for a very long time. Being the Guinness world record holder for having performed the same character in hundred different titles, the name of Charles Martinet will always be remembered alongside Mario.