Considering the incredible global popularity of the Super Mario videogame franchise, It’s hard to believe that the world has been made to wait until 2023 for a Super Mario Bros. movie (excluding the terrible 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. that had surprisingly little connection to the Mario games).
The excitement for the upcoming animated film was dampened somewhat when some questionable casting choices were announced. That’s not to say the entire cast list is worrying fans.Anya-Taylor Joy as Princess Peach and Jack Black as Bowser both make a lot of sense, but Chris Pratt as Mario is about as strange a choice as the studio could have made. Still, there’s hope this film will do the franchise justice, and fans have some big ideas on just how directors Aaron Hovarth and Michael Jelenic can achieve this.
The Mushroom Kingdom
Firstly, fans want to see Mario’s homeland, The Mushroom Kingdom, on the big screen. Filled with friendly, helpful Toads and boasting Peach’s vast and elegant castle, The Mushroom Kingdom is visually spectacular. From a creative standpoint, The Mushroom Kingdom offers the filmmakers a great deal of freedom because there isn’t a massive amount of established canon for the area.
We know it contains Mario’s home, Peach’s castle, Toad Town, and, often, Bowser’s castle too, but beyond that, the producers have free rein. Past Mario games have included underwater levels, desert landscapes, and even the occasional world made of clouds, meaning Mario might have his work cut out when he appears on the big screen next year.
Assuming that you experienced a childhood on Earth, it’s safe to say you’ve probably played a Mario game or two. If you have, you know just how much fun it is to stomp on a Goomba, squishing them into nothingness. Bowser will undoubtedly be the film’s main villain (as he should be), but he’ll need an army of disposable goons at his disposal, and who better to slow Mario down than an army of determined Goomba’s?
In addition to Goomba’s, we’d love to see Chris Pratt’s American-accented take on the character go toe-to-toe with some of Mario’s other iconic enemies, including Shy Guys, Chain Chomps, Piranha Plants, and Koopa Troopas.
Though Mario, Luigi (Charlie Day), Princess Peach, and the other residents of the Mushroom Kingdom are all beloved characters prevalent in all forms of pop culture, we do not know much about each of them. Mario and Luigi are plumbers. Mario and Princess Peach are in love. Mario and Luigi both have incredible facial hair.
But beyond these three facts, there is not much else. A film offers fans the chance to see fully developed characters, allowing us to learn what drives Mario beyond simply rescuing Peach and sending Bowser packing. Is there any sibling rivalry between Mario and Luigi? Are things always easy in Mario and Peach’s relationship? Hopefully, we’ll learn the answers to these questions and more when Super Mario Bros. arrives in cinemas in 2023.
Keep The Plot Simple
The original Super Mario Bros. movie and, more recently, Detective Pikachu both made the same mistake. Instead of crafting a well-thought-out yet simple plot that accurately reflects the simplistic nature of the games they are based on, they decided to overcomplicate things. This resulted in elongated run times stuffed with convoluted plot points and secondary characters who only served to slow things down. Super Mario Bros needs to avoid this trap and embrace the straightforward narrative of the games.
Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach, and Mario, just an ordinary plumber, springs into action to try and save her. That’s not to say that the characters shouldn’t be fleshed out or that Mario can’t visit exciting, new worlds on his journey, but let’s keep things nice and easy. After all, the film should be for the whole family, just like the games.
Make Princess Peach More Than Just A Damsel In Distress
If there’s anything we learned from Anya Taylor-Joy‘s role in the brutal Viking epic The Northman and her acting career to date, she’s anything but a damsel in distress. We’re hoping this attitude carries over into the upcoming animated film and that Princess Peach is more than just a device to get the plot moving.
Perhaps Princess Peach could use her intellect to slow Bowser down and leave clues for Mario, or maybe she’s secretly a trained kickboxer and is able to go toe-to-toe with the fire-breathing villain herself. However they choose to empower her, it would be nice to see her be something more than just a woman to be rescued, especially for any young girls watching the film.
Don’t Forget About Yoshi
Yoshi has been one of Mario’s most reliable allies since he was first introduced in the 1990 title. Super Mario World. Since then, the boot-wearing dinosaur has become a mainstay of the videogame franchise, appearing in almost every Mario Kart and Mario Party title while also appearing as the main character in several games, including Yoshi’s Crafted World.
All of this only makes his omission from the cast list more perplexing. If Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) and even Cranky Kong (Fred Armisen) can join Mario on his adventures, why can Yoshi? Of course, this does not guarantee that Yoshi won’t feature in the film; he may simply be a silent character. But we want you to know one thing, Illumination; if there’s no Yoshi, we’ll riot.
Stay True To The Franchise
There are so many iconic locations, items, villains, and power-ups in the Mario games that it would be almost impossible to include them all in a single film. That being said, we still want to see enough to scratch our nerd itch, and there are certain aspects of the franchise that just have to be included.
We’re talking about warp pipes, the green pipes that help transport Mario from one place to another. We’re talking about question boxes containing a mushroom that makes Mario bigger and stronger. We’re talking about coins that he could maybe collect to buy himself a new hat or a fancy pair of shoes. The point is, we associate Mario with these things, and we simply cannot imagine a Mario film in which the plumber does not find a flower that magically gives him the ability to throw fireballs or turn into a flying bee-man. It just is not negotiable.
End With A Memorable Boss Fight
Mario and his arch-enemy Bowser have faced off in countless epic showdowns over the decades, and it’s vital that the film sticks its landing and gives us one of the most memorable showdowns in Mario’s history. The possibilities really are endless. Mario and Bowser have faced off in seemingly every possible location over the years (even space), and they’ve both used all sorts of power-ups and hidden tricks to overcome their enemy.
This sequence in the film should be frantic, inventive, fast-paced, and, above all else, visually spectacular. The most recent Mario title, Super Mario Odyssey, boasted incredible graphics, and the big-screen adaptation should not settle for anything but the best. Hopefully, the film’s delay to 2023 gives the creative team the extra time they need to make this film special, as a film about arguably the most popular video game character of all time should be.
NEXT: Super Mario’s Most Iconic Enemies, Ranked