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Not every movie is perfect, but Super Mario Bros. is the movie that tainted the video game movie genre, ended the careers of its directors, and is infamous for being all-around mediocre. At least, according to the latest installment of Honest Trailers. Watch it below.
The Screen Junkies series has tackled many sub-par films, so it’s kind of a shocker that it took the producers this long to feature Super Mario Bros. The film starred the late Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as brotherly plumbers, Mario and Luigi. To save a princess (Samantha Matthis) they have to travel to another dimension and release her from the clutches of an evil dictator, King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). Other nods to the video game source material lie in the presence of Toad, Bertha, the fungus growing all over the place, the Goombas, and Yoshi. But overall it was an epic disaster. As the video jokes, these directors took all the acid.
When you get right down to it, the Honest Trailer for this film was actually pretty kind, considering how hard it could have bashed this one. Critics savaged the film, with Roger Ebert calling it "a complete waste of time and money." And when Hoskins got to talking about it, he really let loose. The actor told The Guardian back in 2007 that Super Mario Bros. was "the worst thing [he] ever did," calling the production "a nightmare," and saying the co-directors’ arrogance was mistaken for talent. Because the film was such a failure for the studio — it didn’t even earn back half of the money that went into it — it also persuaded Nintendo to never dabble in live-action adaptations of their games again. Even now, when fans are crying out for a Zelda TV series or movie, the company remains steadfast in its belief.
In defense of the film, it’s hard to make a live-action Super Mario Bros. cool. Then again, these guys did it pretty well, and they didn’t have the budget of a Hollywood studio backing them.
A few months ago, a report detailing leaked emails from Sony claimed the studio was looking to make a new Super Mario Bros. movie. Producer Avi Arad reportedly emailed then Sony head Amy Pascal about an animated version, while the president of Sony Pictures Animation told Arad that he wanted to build this into an empire. At the time, talks were continuing between Sony and Nintendo, who is rightfully cautious. Even then the project would have to go through an extensive script process, and that doesn't guarantee a film will be developed. The last thing we need, after all, is a repeat of this 1993 flop.