John Leguizamo has continued to criticize the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Some fans may recall that the 62-year-old actor played Luigi in the 1993 live-action remake of Super Mario Bros., alongside Bob Hoskins’ Mario.
The film, which was the first-ever theatrical release of a video game-based film in the United States, tanked at the box office and currently has a 29% rating and audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It has, nonetheless, become a fan favorite throughout the years.
This year, a new animated version of the game starring Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad.
The trailer for the new Super Mario Bros. movie is below:
With the film coming out 30 years after Leguizamo’s, the Colombian-born actor has told TMZ that he will not be watching it in theatres.
“No, I will not be watching Super Mario Bros.” the actor said, before posing for selfies with fans and speaking to the outlet while doing so. “They could’ve included a Latin character. I was groundbreaking and they stopped the groundbreaking.”
The Violent Night star went on to explain that the Latin audience is a massive part of the population, but they’re usually underrepresented on screen.
“They messed up the inclusion. They dis-included,” he continued. “Just cast some Latin folk. We’re 20 percent of the population – the largest people-of-color group, and we’re underrepresented. Over-represented in the worst kinda jobs, though.”
When asked again by the reporter if he would be watching the movie, the Leguizamo strongly said: “Hell no!”
Super Mario Bros.
In a November 2022 interview with IndieWire, the Ice Age actor called the Super Mario Bros. casting “unfortunate” following his “breakthrough” role.
“The directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead. They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough,” he said.
“For them to go backward and not cast another [actor of color] kind of sucks. 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. I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate,” he added.
Leguizamo’s quest for inclusiveness is clear, as he declared in an open letter to Hollywood in November 2022 that white actors are frequently given jobs that should have gone to people of color.
“You had Al Pacino in tan makeup, coked up and wild as a Cuban in Scarface. The studios loved it so much they put him in Carlito’s Way as a Puerto Rican from Spanish Harlem,” he said, per the Los Angeles Times.
“They surrounded him with Latino actors, but not one of us had a lead role. In our own stories, we were still just supporting players,” he added.