UPDATE 5.15pm UK: Nintendo has now confirmed to Eurogamer that Super Mario Wonder will not feature Charles Martinet, with new voice talent taking over in the roles of “Mario and/or Luigi”.
When asked why Martinet would no longer voice Mario, a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer that “this decision was made after carefully considering a variety of factors”.
“Regarding Super Mario Bros. Wonder, while Charles is not involved in the game, we’re excited to honour his legacy and contributions, including looking ahead to what he’ll be doing as a Mario Ambassador,” a Nintendo spokesperson said.
“Character voice actors for Mario and/or Luigi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder will be credited in the game credits, so please wait for the game to be released.”
ORIGINAL STORY 3.30pm UK:
Charles Martinet, the exuberant voice of Mario, will no longer be the English voice actor behind Nintendo’s most recognisable mascot, after almost 30 years in the job.
Nintendo announced the change in a statement posted today to X, formerly Twitter, which mentioned Martinet would now become a “Mario Ambassador” and “continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!”
Martinet was replaced – to the disgruntlement of some fans – as the voice of Mario in the recent Super Mario Bros. Movie, with Hollywood hunk Chris Pratt taking the reins. Martinet was meanwhile given several other voice roles – including that of Mario’s dad.
Nintendo’s statement suggests Martinet has also recorded his final line as the other Mushroom Kingdom characters he voices, including Luigi, Wario and Waluigi.
Martinet’s relationship with Nintendo began in 1994, when he voiced several roles in SNES game Super Punch-Out!! His first lines as Mario came later the same year, in Mario Teaches Typing.
Since then, Martinet has become the de facto voice of Mario everywhere – at least, until Chris Pratt came along.
Nintendo is yet to state which of its various upcoming Mario projects will be Martinet’s swansong, or name his successor.
“Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64,” Nintendo wrote. “Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!
“It has been an honour working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
Martinet shared Nintendo’s statement with a message of his own: “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart! #woohoo !!!!!!!”