Mario No Longer Voiced By Longtime Actor Charles Martinet--Including In Mario Wonder
Martinet is "stepping back" from voicing Mario and transitioning into a new role.
For decades, Charles Martinet voiced the iconic video game character Mario in Nintendo's popular series, but those days are now over. Nintendo has announced that Martinet, who rose to a new level of fame with 1996's Super Mario 64, is transitioning into the role of "Mario Ambassador." The company also confirmed with GameSpot that Martinet will not voice the character in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
In its initial statement, Nintendo said Martinet will be "stepping back from recording character voices for our games." However, Martinet will "continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all." Notably absent from that statement was any indication about Martinet's involvement with this year's big new Mario game.
When asked about whether Martinet would voice Mario in the upcoming Mario Wonder, Nintendo told GameSpot, "While Charles is not involved in the game, we're excited to honor his legacy and contributions, including looking ahead to what he'll be doing as a Mario Ambassador." This had previously been a topic of some discussion, as the game's reveal led some fans to wonder if Martinet had been replaced, due to subtle changes in the performance.
As for who will now voice Mario (or the many others typically voiced by Martinet), Nintendo said, "Character voice actors will be credited in the game credits, so please wait for the game to be released."
Nintendo also stated that it will have a "special video message" to share from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Martinet to come "at a future date." It added, "It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him."
Sharing his own statement, Martinet wrote, "My new adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart!" He added his iconic voice line "woohoo" as a hashtag in his statement.
Martinet has voiced Mario for decades. In addition to Mario, Martinet voices Wario, Luigi, Waluigi, Baby Mario, and Baby Luigi, among other roles in the wider Nintendo universe.
Martinet's voice and performance as Mario is iconic and memorable, which is part of the reason why people got upset that Mario would be voiced by Chris Pratt in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Martinet had a cameo in the movie, though, lending his voice to Mario and Luigi's father.
In addition to his voiceover roles, Martinet acted in the live-action movie Nine Months starring Hugh Grant. He also appeared in 1997's The Game, which starred Michael Douglas and Sean Penn.
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