Super Mario Bros is a video game franchise that debatably might be the best ever. At the very least it deserves to be on lists of top games ever (along with Goldeneye, Zelda, Starcraft, etc.). With such a mass appeal, it is surprising that the franchise hasn’t marketed and merchandised more than it has. Namely, it is shocking that there hasn’t been a good movie based upon its characters. The lone attempt has been an utter disaster.
The persistent problem with movies made about comic-books (think the Clooney Batman) and video games, is they often stick to the goofy side of the 8-bit world rather than getting creative with it. These 8-bit games we played as children were filed with synthesized sounds and a simple premise about saving the princess . But we are adults now and we notice the adult themes in these games, themes such as evil gruesome villians, eating mushrooms, shooting flames from flowers engorged, and diving into deep underworlds. The most recent Batman franchise was such a success because the movies went beyond the loud colors and made a movie with depth. Plus they had Christopher Nolan.
The Super Mario Bros franchise would make an awesome movie, if there was only a story and director that understood its previous playing audience are now adults and want movies with layers.
This is exactly what Evan Daugherty has done with his Four Players YouTube series. If you aren’t aware of Daugherty’s work, he wrote Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is a rising star to keep an eye on in Hollywood. Daugherty explained in a statement:
Making these short films gave me a chance to really ‘do my own thing,’ while having a little fun treating one of my favorite video-game properties with a darker vibe. I had been kicking around the idea for years before I was even working in the industry, so to finally be able to share these films…is a very exciting thing.
The four part series was released last week and has me pumped for the possibilities that haven’t yet been explored in the dark twisted fantasy worlds of Mario and Luigi.