EXCLUSIVE: John Leguizamo Wishes New ‘MARIO’ Film Was More Inclusive

Actor John Leguizamo, who next stars in Disney’s Encanto, says he wishes the new Mario movie was more inclusive.

In September, Nintendo shocked the world when it announced Chris Pratt would be taking the iconic role of Mario in a new animated Super Mario Bros. film adaptation. The casting quickly became a hot topic on social media, mixed with discussions surrounding the reveal of popular names like Jack Black, Seth Rogan, and Anya Taylor-Joy in supporting roles. Now, the actor who played Luigi in the original live-action Mario film is weighing in.

During an exclusive interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, John Leguizamo was asked about his thoughts on the new movie. He responded by explaining his mixed feelings about a new take on the story and its casting process:

Y’know, Super Mario Bros. holds a special place in my heart. It’s twenty-five years, I think, since it was made, and they’re remaking it. So I’m glad that the movie was good enough that they want to make a remake. That’s a good sign. I wish they would have been more inclusive and had more Latinx in it, like as innovative as the first one was.

The Ice Age actor is referring, of course, to the casting of a Latinx man like himself as the traditionally Italian Luigi. The role will be occupied by Charlie Day when the new animated film arrives. However, Leguizamo does seem open to the idea of returning to the franchise in another form. Of course, the decision ultimately belongs to executives at Universal. When asked if he would participate in the new Mario or a potential sequel, he responded:

Yeah, I think I know how to fix what didn’t work in the original. I think I’ve got all the secret sauce. If they come to me, I’d be willing to help out.

Leguizamo is historically a big proponent for Latinx representation in the film industry. He can next be seen in Disney’s next big animated feature Encanto when it hits theaters on Nov. 24.

Along with the release of Encanto, Leguizamo is set to make his comic book writing debut with PhenomX, hitting shelves later this month.

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