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'Too bad they went all white!': Actor John Leguizamo complains 'Super Mario Bros.' reboot has no 'Latinx' actors in lead roles — and gets taken to task

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Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Longtime actor John Leguizamo — who identifies as "Latinx" on his Twitter bio and starred as "Luigi" in the original "Super Mario Bros." movie from the early 1990s — complained about the "all white" cast of the movie's 3-D animated reboot and said no "Latinx" actors are in lead roles.

"So glad #superMariobros is getting a reboot! Obviously it's iconic enuff," he wrote in his Monday post. "But too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in original! Plus I'm the only one who knows how to make this movie work script wise!"

What are the details?

For the reboot — set to hit theaters Dec. 21, 2022 — Chris Pratt will play Mario, Charlie Day will play Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy will play Princess Peach, Jack Black will play Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key will play Toad, Seth Rogen will play Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen will play Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson will play Kamek, and comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will play Spike, according to Deadline.

"Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character," a news release about the movie read, the outlet added.

How did folks react to Leguizamo's tweet?

Philly Voice writer Michael Tanenbaum noted that Leguizamo's "all white" criticism "isn't accurate" due to the castings of Michael-Kay and Richardson — and that Taylor-Joy "spent the early part of her life in Argentina" and "identifies as a white Latina."

Here's what other observers had to say:

  • "Mario and Luigi are Italian. So why are you crying about it?" one commenter asked. "Are you afraid that people will forget that mess of a movie you were a part of? Please stop it."
  • Another commenter replied to the aforementioned post with the following: "TY for saying that. As [an] Italian/Sicilian (we are not white, but brain dead common people think we are) Mario and Luigi are NOT LATIN. And shame on him for using the word Latinx. I'm also not offended they got 2 white guys to voice them as long as they can pull off the accent."
  • "I love you man, and your Luigi rocks, but as a 'latino' myself, stop saying 'latinx.' It sounds so dumb," another user noted. "Besides, Mario, Luigi, and Peach are already defined in the games. No reason to force race into this."
  • "Look everyone! Someone needs attention. Why does it have to be about race? Especially since all they are doing is voice acting," another commenter wrote. "You don't even know the auditioning pool they had to pick from. I would guess they picked the best suited."
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