Super Mario Bros. Producers Explain the Film’s Origin Story

It’s been a long journey back to the big screen for the Super Mario franchise. After the failure of 1993’s Super Mario Bros, Nintendo was hesitant to greenlight another movie featuring its iconic video game characters. However, the turning point came in 2014 when Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri met for the first time. Years of conversations turned into a partnership, and the result became The Super Mario Bros. Movie, with Miyamoto and Meledandri as producers.

With so many Super Mario games to choose from, how did the producers decide where to begin? Miyamoto and Meledandri recently discussed this conundrum with ScreenRant, and explained how they chose to start their Mario film with the character’s origins.

“When you start the process, there’s all these incredible choices coming from decades of games,” said Meledandri. “But then we realized we needed to move towards defining the spine of the film and the definition of the spine came with a commitment to, in effect, telling an origin story.”

“Once we decided on that approach, we went to character,” added Meledandri. “We really looked at the character dynamic of Mario on a quest to save his brother, and Bowser discovering these feelings for Princess Peach. We see his vulnerability while he’s simultaneously being the villain. Once we had that spine, then we could go back to the conversation where we’re exploring all of these elements that have come the different games.”

Miyamoto echoed the same sentiment as Meledandri. For him, the film needed to start with Mario’s humble beginnings as a plumber from Brooklyn before he set off on a magical adventure.

“But one thing is the fact that Mario is an everyday person from Brooklyn, and that’s where it starts,” said Miyamoto. “He gets wrapped up into this adventure and, through the adventure, he develops this confidence and bravery and comes back this new person. I think that’s something that we felt was really necessary and had to have.”

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters.

Do you think telling Mario’s origin story was the right call? Let us know in the comment section below!

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