The Super Mario Bros. Movie is one of the biggest movie successes of the year. It blew away all expectations for the film, including even the most lofty of aspirations. Without a doubt, the teams behind this movie managed to find a sweet spot that resonated deeply with both longtime Mario fans and newcomers alike.

A lot of that credit goes to the writing team, which included input from Matthew Fogel. Thanks to Fogel, we now have some inside information on the film’s original goals, as he participated in a special webinar. You can see a breakdown of Fogel’s more interesting points below.

  • The goal was to write a script that had just enough emotion/story to sustain a movie
  • Matthew Fogel acknowledges the criticism about the movie being too fast-paced
  • There was a year or so during the production/pre-production where Bowser was a really mean villain
  • Fogel likened the original direction for Bowser to that of a Marvel villain
  • the team eventually thought this direction felt off, so they went more humorous
  • the team made a very specific choice to avoid exposition, as it’s usually the death for family movies
  • the team also considered how knowledge of Mario has been in pop culture for 40 years now
  • Fogel says it’s tough to keep attention of children when a movie is over 90 minutes long
  • the writers didn’t add Yoshi because the whole movie was barely hanging together as is
  • the team are already lookin into stuff for the sequel

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Comments (3)


2d ago

"The goal was to write a script that had just enough emotion/story to sustain a movie"

Boy did they succeed and barely. Lol Movie definitely needed more of both IMO.


2d ago

I wish we had gotten the meaner Bowser. The fact that Bowser was an insecure simp was one of the things I didn't like about the movie, and I had hoped we would be more ruthless and threatening.


2d ago

I feel like there's room for exposition while still keeping the movie kid-friendly; kids are smarter than adults often give them credit for. But if it takes until the sequel to really flesh out the lore - as was the case with the Sonic movies - I'd accept that. But the Mario movie really was too fast-paced. Not to say it wasn't still a great time, but you can tell it was bursting at the seams. I'd love to see an extended cut where it gets maybe another fifteen minutes or so to breathe.

If I had to rank this new wave of video game movies so far:
Sonic 2 > Mario 1 > Sonic 1

Still haven't seen Detective Pikachu yet.

Edited 1 time