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Genshin Impact actor Kevin Afghani is the new Mario

It's a-him, Kevin!

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Elephant Mario in Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

The new voice actor for Mario has been revealed, and his name is Kevin Afghani. On X, the actor revealed that he'll be voicing Nintendo's plumber (and also Luigi) for next week's Super Mario Bros. Wonder

"Incredibly proud to have voiced Mario and Luigi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder," wrote Afghani. "Thanks to Nintendo for inviting me into the Flower Kingdom!"

Afghani began his voice acting career in 2020 with the web short Anime Penguin: Red Show. He's voiced a number of characters for other similar series, and his debut video game role is Arnold in MiHoYo's Genshin Impact.

What's in a voice (actor)?

Earlier in the year, Nintendo revealed longtime Mario actor Charles Martinet had retired from playing the hero, with 2022's Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope likely being his final turn as the character. He's been voicing Mario since 1991, and will be a "Mario Ambassador" going forward.

In the months since that announcement, Nintendo has been intentionally vague about who would play Mario going forward. At one point, the developer implied the new actor would be officially revealed via Wonder's credits.

Iconic video game voice talent and their leading personas

Characters as iconic as Mario often have one particular voice actor associated with them, particularly if they've largely been voiced by one person. Michael Ironside was heavily associated with Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell games, and Ubisoft drew criticism when it replaced him with Eric Johnson for 2013's Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Years later, it was revealed that Ironside had cancer during the early 2010s, at which point he "tried to walk away" from Sam. After his cancer went into remission, Ironside returned to the role starting with Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder releases October 20 for the Nintendo Switch. It's currently unclear if Afghani will portray Mario in future mainline or spinoff titles.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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