Seth Rogen is banana-slamming the 1993 live-action “Super Mario Bros.”
Rogen, who voices Donkey Kong in the new animated film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” revealed his personal connection to the Nintendo franchise and how “disappointed” he was at the feature film starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi.
“When I was 11, I saw the original ‘Mario Bros.’ movie and I was so excited. But it’s one of the worst films ever made,” Rogen told Variety. “I was so disappointed. I think it made me realize that movies, like, could be bad. That never occurred to me until that moment.”
Rogen added, “It really bummed me out. It’s nice to vindicate that moment. It’s nice to know that 11-year-olds out there … won’t be disappointed in the same way that I was.”
Rogen stars alongside Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, and Anya Taylor-Joy.
“It’s nice because when you’re doing a voice, you just get to focus on coming up with jokes that maybe children will laugh at,” Rogen continued of the animated comedy.
Original “Super Mario Bros.” actor Leguizamo told IndieWire in November 2022 that he’s “not bitter” over the remake.
“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original. I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one,” Leguizamo said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Leguizamo recalled that playing Luigi was a big deal at the time.
“The directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and they [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead,” he said. “They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough. For them to go backwards and not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks.”
Producer and Illumination Studios founder and CEO Chris Meledandri curbed any casting doubts over “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” lead star Pratt and his lack of Italian ethnicity last year.
“We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character-licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings ‘Super Mario Bros.’ to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game,” Meledandri said during the CineEurope convention. “When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate, maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should.”
Meledandri continued, “I’m not sure this is the smartest defense, but as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans…I think we’re going to be just fine.”