Top 10 Actors Who Would've Been A Better Mario Than Chris Pratt

Top 10 Actors Who Would’ve Been A Better Mario Than Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt's Mario voice thus far is concerning, so here are some actors we'd prefer to see in the role and why

With Super Mario being a household name for over 50 years, you would expect multiple TV shows and movies to have been made. However, a quick Google search would show you that the only feature-length movie to speak of was from over two decades ago; specifically the 1994 cult classic Super Mario Bros pic featuring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the titular Mario Bros.

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But never fear – in Spring 2023, the powers that be alongside Illumination Entertainment (the animation company behind Despicable Me alongside the Minions) are here to amend that with the release of the Super Mario Bros movie. The CGI animated film will feature Jack Black as Bowser, Charlie Day as Luigi, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, as well as Chris Pratt in the titular role of Mario. Recently, a trailer was released for the film where Jack Black sounds perfect in the role… However, Chris Pratt? Well that’s a different story. Pratt’s delivery was thoroughly trashed for being a bit bland and especially for not sounding even slightly Italian – and that’s probably putting it lightly – leading many to come up with theoretical replacements. So, in no particular order, here are ten actors who would’ve been a better Mario than Chris Pratt.

Dwight Schultz

Dwight Shultz
Image Source: Getty Images (Dwight Shultz on the left, Sissy Spacek on the right)

Let’s start with a bit of a dedicated voice actor, Dwight Schultz. Back in the 80’s, Schultz was a household name due to his role as Howling Mad Murdock in the classic TV series the A-Team. Often considered to be the wild card of the team itself, the character was well-known for being a source of brevity and randomness in the show (as well as something of a child).

But beyond that role, Schultz has repeatedly had roles in both cartoons and video games alike, many of which showcase his undeniable range. Those two paired together with his dedication to his craft would make him a fascinating choice for Mario, a role that we could see him being perfect for.

Seth Green

Seth Green
Image Source: Getty Images

Yet another seasoned voice actor, Seth Green actually played Mario on the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken (hence where the idea originates from). There, Green plays Mario who gets lost in the no holds barred world of GTA’s Vice City to a hilarious degree. In the role itself, he combines Mario’s accent as well as a positive can-do attitude and tone of voice.

Aside from that, his multiple voice acting roles (such as Chris Griffin in Family Guy, which he still plays) have shown him to be very adaptable in any role so he would likely put his own spin on playing Mario. Finally, he is very familiar with the video game industry as a whole.

Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll WWDINTS Simon the Devious
Source: FX Networks

Comedian Nick Kroll is really good at accents. On multiple occasions in his now-defunct sketch comedy: “Kroll show,” Nick Kroll assumed various accents to play other characters. With that in mind, he would be a good fit (and if nothing else absolutely ridiculous). Maybe not in the most authentic Italian way, but certainly as an Italian plumber with an obnoxiously bad accent (think Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds).

Furthermore, Kroll has been praised historically for his very committed work ethic and if you consider Kroll’s voice acting roles in movies such as Captain Underpants: The First Movie, Sausage Party, and the wide array of roles he assumes in the Netflix adult cartoon Big Mouth (which he helped co-create), Kroll would be a great choice.

Bill Hader

Bill Hader GQ
Source: GQ Magazine & Eric White

Objectively, one of the best-animated movies to come out in the early 2000’s is Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Besides its origins from a beloved children’s book, it was also campy, hilarious, flashy, and featured a lot of heart (a lot of which surrounded Hader’s character Flint Lockwood).

Aside from that, however, he is notorious for being incredibly accurate with his impressions, many of which can be seen in just regular interviews he conducts. If paired together with Hader’s very recognizable voice and candor, a case could be made for him being a bit better than what we’ve seen thus far with Chris Pratt.

John Turturro

John Turturro
Source: Nantucket Film Festival

Considering that Mario as a fictional character is extremely Italian, it should not come as a surprise that this list includes a couple of actual Italian actors… the first one being John Turturro. From serious roles to more comedic ones, Turturro has a wide palate of talent that essentially is a one size fits all.

Specifically, his iconic roles in movies such as the Big Lebowski, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, as well as Mr. Deeds come to mind, since in those movies he utilizes some very obscure accents. Furthermore, his role in the Cars franchise from Pixar as the very Italian Formula 1 race car Francesco Bernoulli makes an even better case for why he would be a fantastic fit for the role. I can literally hear his would-be voice as Mario in my head already.

Fred Armisen

Fred Armisen
Source: Getty Images

Speaking of Bill Hader, it’s likely Twinfinite will receive flack about this, given that Fred Armisen is already on the animated movie’s cast list playing Cranky Kong (the elderly grandfather of Donkey Kong)… but let’s be honest, the man is incredibly talented. Not only is this showcased in shows like Portlandia, but also when considering Armisen’s tired and true animated range over the years (both live and in animation) as well as musical inclinations, he would likely be a fantastic pick for the role.

Not to mention, he has an impeccable ability to utilize different accents – and convincingly, no less – which would make him a fantastic replacement for Mario. After all, according to an interview with Conan Obrien on YouTube Armisen “can do any accent in the world.”

Danny Devito

Frank TV IASIP Danny Devito
Source: FX Networks

Would it be unfair to say that Danny Devito is regularly typecast when it comes to playing short Italian men? Perhaps not, if considering how good he is in those roles. Although it would be hard not to picture Frank Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (pictured above), Devito’s signature gruff voice would bring a kind of rougher dynamic which would act in juxtaposition to the usually timid Italian plumber personality of Mario.

His experience over the years in voice acting would give him a bit of an edge over the competition. In addition, many fans argue that this is a role made for Devito, even more so when considering he was the original choice to play him in the aforementioned live-action movie. So, if nothing else, it could very well be a rather fun time.

John Cena

John Cena

Over the last decade, wrestler John Cena has really come into his own. From taking film roles spanning from the DC Universe to family comedies to even penning children’s books such as the “Elbow Grease” series, Cena does it all.

But what really makes us consider him is his role as the bull, Ferdinand, in the animated adaptation of the early 1900’s children’s book the Story of Ferdinand. There, he became the heart and soul of the story as the titular bull who would rather smell flowers than participate in bullfights. Suffice to say, this being a major departure from his career in the WWE definitely showcases his chops, and is a perfect example of why he would be a great choice to replace Pratt as Mario. But, if nothing else at least we have his rumored role as Duke Nukem to look forward to!

Jason Mantzoukas

Jason Mantzoukas
Source: Getty Images

Although his name is indicative of being Greek and not Italian, the two cultures are rather similar. As such, it would stand to reason that Jason Mantzoukas would play a fantastic Mario. In most of his recurring roles, Mantzoukas has been cited as almost always becoming a fan favorite (many of which he plays an unhinged, bug-eyed character) including in the aforementioned Netflix adult animated series Big Mouth which also features both Nick Kroll and Fred Armisen.

Regardless, he also has an infectious laugh and deep voice to match, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him in the role as a jolly middle-aged Plumber. Plus, it helps that he is no stranger to voice acting.

Charles Martinet

Charles Martinet
Source: Andrew St. Clair

Last but not least comes the most direct would-be replacement: Charles Martinet, the original American voice actor of Mario, Luigi, Wario (alongside many other Nintendo mainstays). He is still alive and healthy plus his prowess as the friendly Italian plumber speaks for itself, especially given how highly regarded he is by fellow voice actors.

Finally, if Martinet reprised the role, he wouldn’t necessarily have to change much, and fans everywhere would rejoice that he has the iconic inflection. After all, the voice actor still to this day manages to keep Mario’s voice exciting, iconic, and fun. This is evident considering that Martinet has repeatedly voiced the plumber over 100 times, which in turn earned him a Guinness World Record!

That does it for the top 10 actors who would’ve been a better Mario than Chris Pratt in next year’s animated Super Mario Bros movie. Although the list of possible actors could go on for a while, these will hopefully leave readers with some food for thought. However, the best-case scenario is that Chris Pratt’s inflection in the movie itself is much better received than the trailer was. What a pleasant surprise it would be to receive a well-made Super Mario movie, a quality video game movie, and dare I say a gold star. Only time will tell!


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Image of Sam Gambitsky
Sam Gambitsky
I am Sam, but I am actually rather impartial to green-colored breakfast foods.