Best Super Mario movie memes: Chris Pratt as Mario 'game over' for some

Mario is supposed to be Italian, right? That's still a thing? Plus, Pratt delivers an "It's-a-me, Mario" line.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Chris Pratt. As Mario. No, really.


It might not be every serious actor's dream to play a video game character. But when Nintendo announced plans to team up with Illumination, the studio behind Despicable Me, for a new Super Mario movie, fans couldn't get enough of the news. 

And no wonder: Look at this cast. Chris Pratt as Mario, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach. The movie is animated, so the actors will only provide voices of their characters, but still.

Fans had reactions to Thursday's news. 

What even with this casting?

"So the 2 main characters... they just casted whoever was free huh?" wrote one person.

"What timeline are we living in?" asked the official account for the Among Us game.

Snarked one Twitter user, "The Mario cast is so unhinged you could literally just put any actor's picture next to a character from the series and I'd believe it was real." (That's Jared Leto, and to our knowledge, he's not in the movie.)

Chris Pratt as Mario

Chris Pratt's casting as Mario drew much of the attention and jokes. One tweet remembered Pratt in the Jurassic World films, comparing him to Mario and his dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi.

Mario's extremely exaggerated Italian heritage was at the center of some jokes. "I'm fine with the Chris Pratt casting as Mario as long as it's extremely offensive and Nintendo has to issue an apology to the Italian community for it," one person said.

Chris Pratt's reaction

Chris Pratt posted his own reaction to his casting on Instagram, remembering stealing a quarter from a wishing well to play Super Mario Brothers as a kid at a laundromat in Lake Stevens, Washington.

"Just dawned on me right now, the quarter I stole out of the wishing well to play Super Mario Brothers, (the wish) has come true, that I get to be the voice of Super Mario," Pratt said. "But clearly I stole somebody else's wish."

He also delivered the classic line, "It's-a-me, Mario," but immediately insisted "that's not the voice" he'll be using in the film.

Jack Black as Bowser

Comic actor Jack Black's casting as Bowser drew plenty of attention, too.

"Learning that Jack Black is Bowser was way more fulfilling than any Smash reveal," wrote one person on Twitter.

Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong

Naturally, Seth Rogen's casting as Donkey Kong wasn't forgotten. 

"The only casting announcement for the Super Mario Bros. movie that makes absolute sense to me is Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong," wrote one person.

"Frank from Sausage Party has the same voice actor as Donkey Kong from the Super Mario movie," noted the very specific Same Voice Actor Twitter account.

A few CNET staffers also had thoughts on the eyebrow-raising casting. The movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Dec. 21, 2022.

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