- Chris Pratt faced backlash for his casting as Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, as many fans felt he was ill-suited for the role and being forced upon them.
- The backlash towards Pratt was intensified by his previous success in prominent franchises, making him a target for criticism.
- The backlash has quieted down since the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, potentially due to the movie’s success and positive reception, as well as Pratt’s performance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Chris Pratt ascended to the very top of the A-list in the 2020s, which caused a cascade of backlash that only stopped due to the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Within the last few years, Pratt’s career has taken off, driven largely by his prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result, it seemed like Pratt was suddenly everywhere, to the point that many movie fans began to get frustrated that he was being forced upon them. Nowhere was this more evident than in his casting in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Pratt seemed particularly ill-suited to voice one of the most recognizable characters in pop culture, even more so considering the extremely distinct voice that character has. It felt like Pratt was once again being forced upon audiences not because he would do the character justice, but because Illumination thought he would be a big box office draw. Pratt wound up doing a decent job with the role, leaning into a Brooklyn accent for Mario, and while the A-lister is certainly not the sole reason for the $1.3 billion box office gross, the backlash has been pretty quiet since The Super Mario Bros. Movie took off.
Mario’s Movie Success Has Properly Killed The Chris Pratt Casting Backlash
While it’s impossible to pin down exact dates of internet trends, the Chris Pratt backlash seemed to really take off following his role as Peter Quill in Avengers: Endgame. Just within the last few years, Pratt had already starred in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the first two Jurassic World movies, and the first two The Lego Movie entries in addition to a smattering of big-budget genre one-offs like Passengers and The Magnificent Seven. Pratt had seemingly become the go-to star for any franchise, and given his already-prolific history of catching flak on the internet, the knee-jerk reaction for many was to hate on anything he did.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie dialed that concept up to 11, as the backlash for his casting as Mario was swift and abundant. To many, he made no sense for the beloved character, and many pixels were spent listing the reasons why. However, the movie was widely embraced by the public, as it turned out to be a treasure trove of Super Mario Easter eggs, top-notch video game action, inspired voice work, and the internet’s favorite song, “Peaches.”
Since the movie’s release, the venomous Chris Pratt casting discourse has slowed to a drip. It’s possible that it will pick back up with the release of Pratt’s next major project, in which he will voice another well-known character, Garfield. But for now, even his most fervent detractors have gone quiet.
1 Other 2023 Movie Helped End The Chris Pratt Casting Backlash
It’s possible that it was not just The Super Mario Bros. Movie that helped stem the tide of Chris Pratt casting backlash. Pratt also gave a terrific performance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and while it didn’t quite reach the box office heights of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, many fans regard that movie as the best of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Pratt in particular was applauded for his performance in the movie by many Marvel fans, and seeing him thrive in the role that made him most famous could have played a major role in killing the constant stream of backlash surrounding him online.
What Was The Chris Pratt Backlash About Anyway?
The foundation for the Mario backlash was laid out many years before Chris Pratt’s role was announced. Pratt has had a backlash for different elements of his personal life and religious views, although to be fair to him many of the elements he’s hated for are based on assumptions and unverified. One of the most prolific sources of hate relates to the church he associates with, the Hillsong Church, which drew the ire of many when actor Elliott Page called it out for being “infamously anti-LGBTQ” in 2019. Pratt himself hasn’t voiced any hateful opinions, but many assume that he holds those views due to his association with the church.
That discourse grew and evolved to include claims that Pratt is a supporter of Donald Trump and the overall conservative political agenda, despite the fact that he has never himself made any political statements or displayed an allegiance to a particular political party. With the general opinion online already unfavorable, Pratt’s seemingly inappropriate casting as the beloved Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie was enough to result in major backlash.