For the last few decades, Mario’s voice actor has almost always been Charles Martinet. Oh sure, the movie had Chris Pratt take the role, and the occasional ad had someone else step in for whatever reason…
But for the most part, it’s always been Martinet. From the platformers to Mario Kart, sports games to commercials, Martinet has always been there voicing Mario. As well as Luigi, Wario and Waluigi in their own respective games.
So, it was a huge shock earlier this year when Nintendo announced he’d step away from the role. That Super Mario Bros Wonder would be his last role as the titular plumber.
And it raised a lot of questions too. Did Martinet step down voluntarily, or was he asked to do so by Nintendo? Was Martinet the only one affected, or did other cast members either retire or get replaced as well?
And most interestingly of all, who is the replacement here? Who’s going to be voicing our favourite Italian plumber going forward?
Well, as it turns out, we may now have an answer to at least one of those questions. Why? Because according to some (semi credible) leaks online, the demo for the game has been leaked and datamined, and the voice actors involved in it revealed.
Here’s the list if you haven’t seen it yourself:
As you can see, there are a lot of actors here. Some are familiar faces, like Kenny James and Samantha Kelly. Some are new, like Kevin Afghani and Mick Wingert. And many of them seem like they’ll be voicing the talking flowers in different regions, given how many names are on the list compared to the other voiced characters in the title.
Yet it’s the last one we’re interested in. Why? Because according to (logical) speculation on sites like FamiBoards, that leaves Mick Wingert as our most likely actor for Mario!
Possible Mario Wonder cast leak datamined from the demo! Thanks to @/Mondo_Mega for compiling this information and posting it on Famiboards. pic.twitter.com/30oW0NYEcW
— Skipper93653 (@Skipp93653) October 12, 2023
And the logic does generally check out here. Existing actors like Kenny James are likely voicing their existing characters rather than new ones, so it’s likely Peach, Toad and Bowser will have the same cast here as well. The talking flowers need voices in other regions, so it’s likely many of the unknowns are going to be responsible for doing that.
Which really leaves Kevin Afghani and Mick Wingert as the remaining choices for Mario. So with the former having voice roles that sound almost identical to the talking flowers in Wonder (like in this Genshin Impact) clip:
AHH. I can finally announce that I am officially a part of Genshin Impact!
You can find my directions as "ask-me-for-directions" Arnold as well as a bunch of little side characters throughout 2.8!
— Kevin Afghani (@KevinAfghani) July 18, 2022
It makes sense Mick would be the actor of choice for our hero. Given his long career in voice acting for all kinds of mediums and how fantastic Mario sounds in the Wonder trailers and previews, it seems he was a great choice too.
But is this really the case? Are these leaks actually credible?
Well, that’s where we’re conflicted. On the one hand, the media seems pretty sure of them, and the insiders we’ve heard from online seem convinced. So that’s plausible in that sense. They’re not just ‘here’s what some random guy on 4chan posted, lol’.
Yet at the same time, the story about the game leaking has a lot of issues in it too. For one thing, how does the store demo get leaked and datamined anyway?
Okay, sure the staff might not always be super trustworthy in every shop. But would Nintendo really risk letting that happen here? Would the staff in a store even be in a position to access the game’s files at all?
We’re not entirely convinced about that. It feels like store owners and staff would be locked out of any demo units they have in store, and that said units would be heavily monitored by Nintendo or the game’s developer to make sure this exact thing doesn’t happen.
And the excuse for the game not leaking online seems a bit too convenient too. It’s just that the person who accessed the files didn’t want to actually share the game online with anyone else. Logical from a legal perspective sure, but not in keeping with other leaks in recent years. Every other demo and game accessed early got leaked in some way, files and all.
So, to see them not leak online feels very suspicious. Like someone wanted to post questionable info about a game, but wasn’t willing to actually provide real proof for their claims.
Either way, the rumours suggest that Mick Wingert is Mario’s new voice actor, and that most existing characters will retain the same voices. But what do you think? Are the rumours credible and true here? What do you think of Mario’s portrayal in Wonder so far?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!