According to Super Mario Bros. movie co-producer Chris Meledandri, Chris Pratt won't be doing an Italian accent for his titular role of Mario. In a recent interview with TooFab, Meledandri reassures fans that Pratt’s vocal work in the upcoming animated movie is “phenomenal” — it just might not sound like what you’d expect.

“All I can tell you is the voice that he's doing for us in Mario is phenomenal,” said Meledandri. “Yeah, I can't wait for people to hear it.” However, he strongly hinted that Pratt isn’t dipping into the classic “It's a-me, Mario!” voice that the public associates with the Italian plumber character from endless Nintendo games.

That being said, the accent will be incorporated into the movie in a different, more self-referential way. “We cover [that accent] in the movie, So you’ll see we definitely nod to that – but that’s not the tenor of the performance throughout the film.”

The decision to cast Pratt in the role of Mario was divisive. Since Pratt is not Italian, he could be prone to playing into well-worn stereotypes. “Well, as an Italian American myself, I understand. You know, I understand the comments,” Meledandri stated. “Charlie Day, who’s playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah so that’s our nod.”

Pratt is joined by Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Foreman Spike. The movie is produced by Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment, with Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto involved as a producer, as well.

The currently untitled Mario Bros. movie is slated to hit theaters December 21, 2022.

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