The Big Picture: Mr. Mario Goes To Hollywood

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Mr. Mario Goes To Hollywood

So there might be a new Mario movie in the works.

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I think Disney would be good for it. Dreamworks wouldn't be terrible either.

But I think you best take your complaining to Nintendo since they are the ones who abandoned Hollywood after the first Mario Bros. movie turned into what it did. Also... as cool as Subspace Emissary looked... it was repetitive and lackluster. It could easily be topped in terms of narrative and action. Visually, yeah, it's good. But to say that you might as well watch that implies it can't be done better and, sorry, but it totally can.

seeing the trailer for the original Mario Brothers film made me wanna go grab my dvd copy of it and watch it again.. it may not have been a good Mario movie ,but it was still a good movie. i liked it as a kid and I still like it now

I STILL can't see what's so bad about the Super Mario Bros movie other than "waah it's different I don't like change!"

Congrats on not doing a Video Memorial to Ralph Baer. Way to not show your Nintendo fanaticism.

On the other hand....

I still want to see a live action Mario movie that is made up of purely or mostly Dwarves.... Or whatever the PC term is for people when never grow above 4 feet tall.

Sorry, I just can't imagine a live-action Mario. It just doesn't work for me. The game is simply too cartoony in its presence, mechanics and presentation that a realistic approach would just be... well, the first Mario movie.
And whatever OTHER franchise is there is not relevant either if their respective base for the adaptation is there to be live-action (e.g. in case of GotG, it is. Besides 'Talking Raccoon', it was basically just a generic sci-fi-flick in terms of the basic visuals)

Now there are obviously franchises that would work very well live action. Bob mentioned Zelda and I also could easily imagine a live-action Metroid movie. They probably could just copy most of one of the prime-plots, cut out a lot of the backtracking and the key-hunt near the end and we got ourself a great starting-point for a Metroid movie!

This is the case of most movies, but I believe that if this should even be considered, a LOT of really talentet people needs to be involved..
I mean; Liam Neeson movies doesn't need to be "good" per say, innovative, or even interesting. But a thing like the Mario brothers, need to get more of a Marvel treatment if that makes sense.. People that aren't ashamed about making this, and don't want the "gritty/dark" version, but want to make a good movie!

As far as live action videogame movies, I always thought Metroid would be a good place to prove the concept. I'd like to see a large portion of it look like the beginning of Wal-E, steeped in ambiance, Samus trekking silently through a dangerous and inhospitable world. It's not your standard summer action movie, but with the right mix of Wal-E and Predator, it would be a fun movie to get lost in and getting lost in the ambiance is the whole point of the games.

I personal would rather see a company like Disney handle the Nintendo IP's instead of Sony. Sony, at this time, is too much of a mess to make a competent Mario movie and having Avi Arad trying to obtain those rights is a nearly 100% guarantee it will fail. I'd like to see Mario as live action but it needs a creative team that can pull off that universe without dropping the ball like they did with the last outing. Maybe someone like Edgar Wright but I'm just blue-skying at this point.

I think the main problem with a live-action Mario is that the central aesthetic of the Mario franchise is it's cartoonishness. Make Mario live action and you'll lose that very thing that makes it feel like a Mario property. It would be like filming a live action Mickey Mouse movie. It's gonna look like Stuart Little (at best), and it's not going to feel much like Mickey Mouse. Further complicating this, the central premise of a Mario game is that he's a guy who goes around and jumps on creatures, smashing them into oblivion while making a "Whoo Hoo!" noise. Unless this is a Sam Raimi style horror comedy, I don't think I want to see that translated into live action.

It's a crying shame that Bob doesn't trust the fungus.

Live-action Kirby would be horrible. As in, horrifying, and I must see it!

I can't honestly see a reason for there to even BE a Super Mario movie. And especially since they're so plot and character lite that anything they try and do with it will be met with

Rossco64:
"waah it's different I don't like change!"

Like, seriously, I don't know how the hell how you could even not be different on some level.

I've thought a lot about it too and stuff like Zelda and Metroid would certainly translate well to live-action, but that's because their universe - subject matter, physics, general mood and plotlines - are somewhat grounded. Mario is pure (good) nonsense with no real structure or gravity. I think if it were to work, it have to take a page from its source, Alice in Wonderland, and be more about set-pieces with minimal story. Thing is, we're talking Nintendo and I'll be damned if there's never been a better time for Smash Bros to happen.

A fun thought on hypothetical sequels, world-building, and fan-service: if something else needed to happen, Mario and friends could go meet the characters from Dokki-Dokki Panic in a land adjacent to the Mushroom Kingdom.

gerardy:
It would be like filming a live action Mickey Mouse movie.

My thoughts exactly.

The only way I can really see a Mario movie working would be if it's based off of any of the Mario RPGs. The main series of games, with a few exceptions, really don't have much of a story but do at least have more than enough atmosphere that production could borrow those aesthetics but the actual story will need to come from one of the RPGs. Were it my decision, either Super Mario RPG or Bowser's Inside Story.

For all the harshness the creators of the Super Mario Bros movie got (and fairly, that movie is a mess), I still have a lot of respect for the poor guy that was handled a controller and was tasked to turn a game where a chubby plumber dwarf fights through a cartoony world populated by turtles and mushrooms with legs to rescue a princess from a group of evil turtles/dragons, into the script for a feature film with real people. Lets face it, as much as Bob likes to see Mario as the ultimate face of Video Games culture, his adventures are closer to an acid dream than a narrative.

The only way a SMB movie could work is if it follows the anime OVA template, which is: everybody that watches them already knows the characters, names, relationships and motivations of everyone involved, so we don't need to spend more than 2 minutes in setting the backstory (and we don't even need to place it somewhere within the cannon, either). And, then again, Nintendo is so protective of Mario that any kind of arc, flaw or trait other than "too much of a hero" will be considered blasphemy.

The Mario franchise may be big and recognizable, but does it get anyone EXCITED any more? I mean, sure, there are a bunch of guys who grew up with the dude who still love him, and it sells a lot cause it's the sort of game parents buy for their kids, but I'd bet half of those kids open their presents and are mostly disappointed that it's not a Call of Duty game. Thing is, Mario is pretty infantile, and while there's a lot nostalgia attached to him, getting a boner over seeing the character in a raccoon suit or whatever isn't really the status quo. That's what I think anyway.

Was that jab at the 90s really necessary? Or that much more hatred for Amazing Spider-Man?

Anyway...as great as it would be to have a Mario Bros movie that doesn't suck, I don't see it happening. But it does figure that Mario is getting another shot at the big screen.

There's also reports of a Sonic movie in the works that's supposedly is going to be aiming to be darker and gritter with a PG-13 rating. Good lord, please shoot me...

Anyone want to enlighten me as to why MovieBob seems so obsessed with this hypothetical live action Zelda movie? It only makes marginally more sense than the Super Mario one, and they both seem to have many of the same problems.

For a Super Mario movie (a new one, that is), I don't see the point. Mario games aren't exactly known for their great plots or deep characters. The art style is too stylized to transfer to live action, meaning they will have to change it up enough to render it meaningless. Most of the stuff Mario is known for doing would look bizarre in live action.
I just don't really see what would be gained by basing a movie on these titles, other than brand recognition. When basing a movie on established content, there are inherent restrictions but usually advantages that balance it out, so what exactly is being gained here?

Not saying you can't make a descent movie out of them, just that with all the changes they would have to make it seems like they would be better off just starting an original idea.

Just let it go. The movie ruined it forever.

I read the post on the blog and the elevator/short version pitches sound like you're pitching me the Bob Hoskins movie. That's probably the biggest issue keeping such a project down. It poisoned the well.

Reading the full storyline is obviously much better but throughout the whole thing, it's pictured in my head as an animated feature. Sorry. I can't get past it without going down the 90's Mario road. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo were so perfectly cast for those roles and it turned into utter shit. I just don't feel like those characters ARE human. So it feels like a disservice to try and portray them as human.

However, as an animated feature, I don't picture it as an extended cutscene from Smash Bros at all. I'm not looking at it through the prism of Nintendo's aesthetic style. This is something that would be best brought to life by Blizzard in their Diablo/Warcraft cutscene style. Highly detailed animation with tangible emotional weight but not flesh-and-blood humans.

Zelda on the other hand.... That is begging for an epic live-action feature.

I don't see much of a point in making a Mario movie. Popular culture kind of got over those games, and just accepts them as a thing, so there wouldn't be all that much drive from the mainstream to want to go see it.

I mean, it'd be like making a non-ironic live-action Cinderella movie in 2014-

...

*sigh*

The other problem being that CG Mario & Luigi are instantly recognisable. Live action M&L wouldn't be, due to the loss of the exaggerated-comical style.

I think Mario has to be a cartoon for one simple reason so Mario can jump, in a live action movie you can break the laws of nature but you have to say how or why it happened in cartoons we'd easily accept a talking dinosaur or a Italian plumber jumping 5 times his height. The same is not true of live action and you would end up with some kind of stupid jump boot just to give Mario his iconic jump. Plus it'd look weird as hell to have a live action man floating up ten feet in the air every time he jumped.

I am rather skeptical about a lot of the old golden age games getting turned into movies because quite frankly not much happens in them. They have very shallow story lines, such as princess gets kidnapped and hero goes to save them. But everything else that happens along the way it typical video game mechanics of jumping, puzzle solving, and fighting bad guys.

You mention a lot of great fantasy and scifi movies that have been made as an example, but those were already fairly fleshed out stories which were already good. Some others, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, were mostly just a collection of characters and a universe that they could play around in to make their own story. But the difference between that and a game is it exist in a world where people do "normal" things more akin to real life and not a video game. As most video games involve the hero running down long corridors to find something then possible back tracking to take a fork in the road so they can go down another corridor that was locked and only opens after the player got an item.

People have been playing many of those gold age franchises for a while now and are use to inhabiting the world they are a part of. As you said you have already seen lots of cutscenes and I think a lot of people are the same way. A movie that tries to stay really true to the game would likely end up just being a really long cutscene.

When it comes to movies they need to apply to a wider audience since I don't think the fans of that franchise are likely to be enough of a target audience. Also given that it is a movie with an actual story you would need more motivation with the characters than simply Bowser shows up and kidnaps the princess because it's his thing.

Also Mario is from our world and the Mushroom Kingdom is a fairly magical place. I've seen breakdowns of mario's abilities and quite frankly he is more on par with a superhero breaking bricks with his fist, being able to jump 6 feet tall obstacles, and etc.

Others like Metroid are about the same. Samus runs around a base in a super suit collecting parts to gain access to deeper sections of the base and kill tougher enemies until she defeats the final boss. It's something more akin to an action movie and don't see much new here that hasn't already been done in the dozen of A & B movies done about people trapped in a remote location with alien threat other than it would be in Metroid universe.

Zelda is very much the typical video game mechanic universe. Go to several different locations to collect pieces of the Tri-force and then once combined it breaches Gannon's protection spell so that you can finally face him. Which is fun to do in a game but not so fun to watch in a movie with someone else doing it.

The other limitation is time, games have a lot of time to stretch out the story for a slow build up. But most movies are 90-120 minutes long and I see most game movies as being the same. Getting an epic 3 hours movie like just one of the LOTR films is likely going to be a hard sell to Studios who still likely see games as more for kids and thus want a shorter run time to appeal to families with kids.

So far I've seen several movie adaptations of games and many of them break quite a bit from their game having little in common other than the names. I can't recall a single great video game movie that I've seen or one that actually did really well at the box office.

Here is a list of all the "game" movies that come to mind off the top of my head. Dungeons and Dragons (2 movies), Super Mario Brothers, Blood Rayne, Dungeon Siege (3 Movies), Final Fantasy (Awesome CGI for the time but meh story), Doom, Mortal Kombat (2 movies, 1st one had some good fight scenes), Wing Commander, Resident Evil (OMG I lost count of how many they have made and don't follow either but hear the movie has it's own universe completely divergent from the games), Tomb Raider (2 Movies? Had some Cool action scenes but meh story), Street Fighter (Cult classic for how bad it was and great one liners "For you the day Bison Graced your village was the most important day of your life but for me it was a Tuesday"), and so on.

I know there are likely more but that's all I can recall at this time. None of which I would really want to go and watch again the way I do with a lot of other great movies. Most I saw only once and then promptly let fade from memory.

marioandsonic:
Was that jab at the 90s really necessary? Or that much more hatred for Amazing Spider-Man?

Anyway...as great as it would be to have a Mario Bros movie that doesn't suck, I don't see it happening. But it does figure that Mario is getting another shot at the big screen.

There's also reports of a Sonic movie in the works that's supposedly is going to be aiming to be darker and gritter with a PG-13 rating. Good lord, please shoot me...

There is always room for a little more hatred towards amazing spiderman movies.

Don't get me wrong I loved playing Mario growing up, I had the Super-Mario All-Stars for SNES, so I played the original, 2, 3, World, etc I also loved Super Mario 64 ... but never once did I think "This needs to be a movie!"

Okay, yes, the Super Mario Bros movie was financially a flop, okay, yes, it wasn't that big a hit for most people. However, I have run into way too many people who say, "I don't care, I still liked it", plus the tale of executive meddling behind the scenes, and I just can't hate it. As well, for as much as I went into Amazing Spider Man 1 expecting to hate it, I enjoyed it enough to rent the second and watch it the same night. Liked them both, probably in part due to my major exposure to Spider Man being the Tobey Maguire movies, so, didn't really have years of comics baggage weighing them down.

I kinda get what you're saying about Guardians. I do think it's silly to underestimate how far blockbuster movie audiences are willing to suspend their disbelief at this point. However, Bradley Cooper didn't get into a raccoon suit for that movie. While it wasn't an 'animated' feature, the part you refer to in trying to defend the idea of the Mario Brothers in live action was computer generated.

The Mario Bros movie is glorious. Deal with it.

I think a lot of people have said this by now, but I think it bears repeating. The iconic visage of Mario and his supporting cast have lately moved more and more toward the cartoony, and the games' premises, setpieces, and basic ideas are similarly absurd. I'm not saying that it would be impossible to make a good live-action Mario movie, but it would be a lot more difficult and have a much higher threshold of failure. Which is to say, a live-action Mario movie would have to be perfect, whereas an animated Mario movie could get away with just being good.

A live action Kirby film could really work well as a Godzilla knock-off, and I will fight anyone on that[1].

[1] Well, in terms of words or through speech. I'm frail as fuck IRL

lord.jeff:
I think Mario has to be a cartoon for one simple reason so Mario can jump, in a live action movie you can break the laws of nature but you have to say how or why it happened in cartoons we'd easily accept a talking dinosaur or a Italian plumber jumping 5 times his height.

Well they could just do the John Carter of Mars type thing, since Mushroom Kingdom is basically another world. While I think that movie was only passable I think they did a good job of making it seem believable that someone from a higher gravity world would be able to jump really high and lift things normal people of that world could not. That could account of Mario's superior jumping and strength. But as for everything else it would be a stretch.

The flowers for fire balls the closest thing I can think of if Farscape it was established the fuel used in their blaster pistols was an oil that came from a type of plant grown on farming world, and i think it was a type of flower. They could have a glove style fire ball thrower which is fueled by the flower oil.

But some how I feel like I'm putting in more effort to ground things so they would match the game and the movie than most of the writers do for those movies.

I'd be really impressed if someone pulled this off. Mario's main selling point is the joy of playing as him. He's fun to control and does some pretty neat stuff, but take that away and what do you have? Good luck finding anyone who will praise a Mario game for being a narrative masterpiece. He's just so gamey that I can't see him having any sort of appeal if you remove the "game" element.

I have too ask what's the big deal with Bob constantly using Rocket Racoon as a big 'they did this in live action'?

We had a live action Yogi bear, 3 chipmunk films and everyone remembers 'who framed roger rabbit' which is more violent and 'gritty' than GotG.

Seriously if you did not cringe when the shoe got dipped you have no soul.

P-89 Scorpion:
I have too ask what's the big deal with Bob constantly using Rocket Racoon as a big 'they did this in live action'?

We had a live action Yogi bear, 3 chipmunk films and everyone remembers 'who framed roger rabbit' which is more violent and 'gritty' than GotG.

Seriously if you did not cringe when the shoe got dipped you have no soul.

The important part of the point about GoTG is "biggest film of the year in North America". The other films you mentioned had various degrees of success, but GoTG was HUGE.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBC84A55C38AEFDC4
if a bunch of random people on youtube can do a live action Brawl series,
then some studio can do a SMB Movie

WarpedLord:

P-89 Scorpion:
I have too ask what's the big deal with Bob constantly using Rocket Racoon as a big 'they did this in live action'?

We had a live action Yogi bear, 3 chipmunk films and everyone remembers 'who framed roger rabbit' which is more violent and 'gritty' than GotG.

Seriously if you did not cringe when the shoe got dipped you have no soul.

The important part of the point about GoTG is "biggest film of the year in North America". The other films you mentioned had various degrees of success, but GoTG was HUGE.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the 2nd highest grossing film in the USA back in 1988 when it came out, try again :).

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