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In every movie there is footage that doesn’t make it into the final cut. For a film like Pixels which is heavily reference laden, the point of the movie is to fill it with nostalgic video game characters. That means that some of those scenes don’t make it into the finished film. Such is the case with an original ending that would have included Super Mario.
Speaking with ScreenCrush, Pixels director Chris Columbus spoke about a closing scene with the famous plumber that they ended up not using:
We tried it. There was a moment we even did a preview of it, we thought it was interesting but we wanted to kind of use him somewhere else. I don’t want to spoil the fact that he may be somewhere else in the film...
Columbus went on to note that the appearance Mario does make in the film actually turned out to be a bigger moment for the audience than the ending with Mario.
The original ending, found in an earlier version of the script, would have apparently left Mario as the one remaining pixelated alien standing atop the Washington Monument, ready to rain down some hell. We assume via fire flower. This obviously would have been the setup for a potential sequel. While the box office will be the ultimate determination of whether or not that happens, we’re not holding our breath. Reviews have been pretty lackluster overall. Maybe they had a feeling that teasing a sequel would be overdoing it a bit. With all the various characters that do make it into the film, it’s hard to tell what would be left for a sequel anyway. Columbus describes the conclusion as a Where’s Waldo like mass of characters. Where exactly do you go after that?
Mario does survive to make another cameo in the film. Donkey Kong has been prominent in the trailers, so it’s no surprise that it’s that version of the character that you see during the climactic battle. We’d have to turn in our geek card however if we didn’t point out that technically that Donkey Kong character is named Jumpman, not Mario, so it isn’t really the same thing. Just sayin’. Check out the interview below.
Lack of real Mario aside Pixels is still full of all the 80’s arcade nostalgia you could possibly want. The movie hits theaters today. You can read our review here.