Why Haven't They Made This Yet? #2

[Do you know what I find even more annoying than the constant wave of remakes, reboots, sequels/prequels, and comic book and video game adaptations? People complaining about remakes, reboots, sequels/prequels, and comic book and video game adaptations. Seriously, all I ever hear these days is 'waah, why aren't there any fresh ideas? Everything is (see above) nowadays!' And frankly, I'm getting really tired of it. So instead of joining the ranks, I'm going to embrace all said types of film, and I will be celebrating it in a segment I like to call... "Why haven't they made this yet?"]

I didn't want to do another video game adaptation so soon, but this one has been on my mind since I conceived the idea for this. I had to get it all down. So here we go.

Title: Super Mario Bros.

Type: Video Game Adaptation/Remake/Reboot.

History: Mario and his brother Luigi were first introduced to us in the original Mario Bros. way back in the 80s. Since then, they've spawned numerous games which have become the second biggest selling game series in history.

One might think that a movie based on Mario would be nearly impossible. And I would agree. Just look at the version done in the 90s with Bob Hoskins. I mean, have you ever looked at the story of the games? Really, truly looked at it? You have two plumber brothers who find themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom. Princess Peach, the sole princess of the kingdom, has been kidnapped by a dinosaur, Bowser. It's up to these two to get her back, traveling to many different lands/worlds to find her. These worlds span kingdoms of giants, ice, water, desert, and more. Along the way they have to face other dinosaurs, turtles, and goombas (creatures of the Mushroom Kingdom that joined Bowser's side). But Mario and Luigi don't have to do this alone. First, they have the guide of a mushroom-headed guy named Toad who helps by saying "The princess is in another castle!" But you also get superpowers. Depending on what icon you consume, you can shoot fireballs, wear a raccoon suit that turns you to stone, hop in a frog suit to swim under water, or become invincible for a short amount of time. All of this in the name of the princess.

How insane is that?

Film Possibilities

First of all, there's no way this movie could be live action and look as good as it could. But it wouldn't be good enough to have simple animation. Motion Capture would be the way to go. As for genre, it would be action/adventure fantasy. The adventure is obvious by all the travel, and of course the action to go with it. The movie would also have to embrace the fantasy and not try to make it real like the original film did. It would also have to have a lot of comedy. This movie cannot possibly take itself seriously or it'll fail big time.

Why This Movie Could Work: Beowulf. Motion Capture is slowly becoming more and more popular, and even though it's all animated, it can look real without simultaneously looking ridiculous. To top it off, this movie could be 3D, as there's a big 3D craze going on at the moment. Can you imagine all the fireballs and turtle shells flying at you? Awesome.

Story: The Mushroom people and the dinosaur people live in harmony within the Mushroom Kingdom. But the King is dying. Princess Peach is up for the crown, but Chancellor Bowser is a wee bit greedy. He causes anarchy within the kingdom and kidnaps the Princess, waiting for the king to die. If the princess isn't home and alive when the king dies, the crown automatically goes to the next in line: the Chancellor. The kingdom is split, half staying loyal and the other half siding with Bowser. But there's a prophecy of two brothers that will save the kingdom. The king sends Toad to find them, and find them he does. The king sends Mario and Luigi to find the princess and bring her home to claim her crown. So now they must travel the world, through hot and cold, through the strange and stranger, to get her back.

Along they way they discover the powers of the Mushroom Kingdom, and the different abilities they can gain, such as harnessing fire. Hopefully they can reach the princess and defeat Bowser before it's too late.

Director: This is a toughie. Who has experience with Motion Capture, fantasy, adventure, and comedy? Who would be willing to take a gamble, especially after the worldwide infamy that is the first film? I was tempted to throw all that out the window and go with a specific director based on previous work with the following cast, but I think prior knowledge would be important here. I have to go with Robert Zemeckis. He's directed Beowulf, The Polar Express, and the upcoming A Christmas Carol. There's no doubt he knows his Motion Capture. He can do comedy where we know something is serious, but it refuses to take itself as such: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? And he can do the fantastical, as seen in Beowulf and Back to the Future. I really think Mr. Zemeckis would be the perfect director for this.

Cast: This was one of the toughest parts. The king and Toad aren't too worrisome. It's Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser we have to worry about. Let's start with our leads. There aren't many actors out there who could do this well. They have to not only make you care for them as you watch them, but they have to have a good chemistry between each other. One has to be portly (which isn't that common in Hollywood), while the other a bit lanky. That's why I feel the following casting is an inspired one (they'd just have to work on the accents and grow thick mustaches):

That's right, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as Mario and Luigi (respectively). We already know they have chemistry. We already know they can do action (Hot Fuzz). We know they can take something serious and not take it too seriously. And being the nerds that they are, they would treat the material with the utmost respect. As I said, they'd have to work on the accents, but that shouldn't be too hard for either of them. Obviously, the director choice I alluded to earlier was Edgar Wright, having worked with these two before.

But now we have the princess. We need a good looking blonde woman. She'll probably want to be a medium-named actress. Not an Angelina Jolie, but not a no-name, either. Somebody we know and can identify with and who we would want to see rescued, but not somebody so famous that they'd want an extended role (as Peach probably wouldn't be in the film a whole lot). One name springs to mind: Banks.

Her name is all over the place, but I don't think it's Jolie-level quite yet. And who wouldn't want to save Elizabeth Banks from a dinosaur? It'd be perfect.

Finally, our villain. Of course, this is a dinosaur we're talking about. It won't obviously be an actor, so it's the voice we're looking at here. Somebody who can exude evilness in his voice. And if we're going with my script, somebody who can be at least eligant, as he is a chancellor of a magical kingdom. Even if we didn't go with my script, Bowser would have to be a good speaker, as he has so many followers. Only one name crossed my mind. Hugo Weaving. Who didn't get the chills as he went on his rants in The Matrix? Who didn't love listening to him spin rhetoric in V For Vendetta? And we never even saw him in that one (not skin, anyway). He can keep you entranced by voice alone, villain or otherwise. And that's why I think he'd be the perfect Bowser.

And that's pretty much all there is to this edition. Thoughts?


  1. Maybe it's me being me but I LIKED the Live Action Super Mario Brothers movie. I admit it's nothing at all like the video game but it's still a lot of fun. Hell, it's got Dennis Hopper in it. What's the last Dennis Hopper movie you saw that wasn't a load of fun?

    With that aside, I do like your idea for a new version or whatever. And having the Shaun/Hot Fuzz dudes as the stars is brilliant.

  2. Honestly, I haven't watched the original since I was little, but I liked it back then, too. I don't know how my opinion will have changed since, but I do recall it being a lot of fun (even if it was nothing like the games).

    And yes, the Shaun/Fuzz guys being in it would be freakin' awesome.

  3. It's got potential, but I think the setup of the story (the facts you're dealing with, not the story you came up with) are just too bizarre to really work. It all sounds so...cartoony. But I guess if it were in the right hands, and Zemekis has some good ones, that it might be believable. Ditto on the Pegg/Frost call - tough to buy them as Italian plumbers, but their chemistry is spot-on.


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