Super Mario Bros. (Cancelled Live-Action Fantasy film)
Super Mario Bros. is a cancelled Live-action fantasy film that was suposed to be directed by Greg Beeman and written by Jim Jennewein and Tom S. Parker. It would have been a live-action fantasy adaptation from the game with the same name and fauthful to the games, but it would be inspirated in The Wizard of Oz (1939), The NeverEnding Story (1984) (História sem Fim (1984) em português) and Labyrinth (1986) (the movie with David Bowie as king of the goblins), but with a Comedy parodying fairy tales and fantasy cliché, similar to The Princess Bride (1987)
Brothers Mario (Danny DeVito or Dustin Hoffman) and Luigi (Tom Hanks) pursue Princess Hildy Toadstool (Meg Ryan or Winona Ryder) into a hidden world reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz (1939) and ‘’Labyrinth (1986)— complete with checkered brick road, tribes of mushroom people, and a King Koopa (Arnold Schwarzenegger) described as an anthropomorphic dragon.
The story begins in Brooklyn, twenty years ago, where an old man drops off a baby at a church door, leaving a mushroom-shaped locket with a ruby in the infant's blanket. He flees, but is ambushed by large figures, one caped and one armoured, who demand the child or else the man will face immeasurable agony, but he dies of a heart attack.
It then cuts to Brooklyn, modern day, where Mario and Luigi (his younger brother, wearing dirty green overalls, also sports a big black mustache. Tall and gangly, shy and whimsical, Luigi has a lot of little boy in him.) are working on a plumbing job; Luigi wistfully talks about admitting his love to Hildy, an assistant in a flower shop, while Mario is very cynical about women after a failed relationship, wherein Brenda, his love, ditched him three days before the wedding to hook up with the caterer. Luigi's messing around when Mario isn't there extends the job to three hours due to fixing the pipes and afterwards he gives money to a bum, which frustrates Mario due to how broke they are.
Luigi visits the flower ship, but doesn't get expressing his thoughts how he wanted, though he and Hildy plan a lunch for tomorrow. That evening, Luigi asks how Mario will feel when he moves out, worried he'll be lonely. Mario rebukes, "Are you nuts? When ma died, she made me promise to take care a you. You think it's been fun playin' nursemaid for fifteen years? Maybe when you get outta here, I can get a life." He also mentions that to pay the bills, he had to loan money off a gangster, Big Eddie (sometimes spelled Big Eddy, also referred to once as Mr. Delpino).
Luigi has a dream that he's walking down a rainy street with Hildy; she points out a ruby locket in a gutter, which Luigi retrieves for her, but a reptilian claw grabs her when he heads back to her. Waking up, he goes outside for some fresh air only to run into Big Eddie's goons who start hassling him; Mario says he should be the brunt of the hassle, and claims he's got a big job that'll pay Eddie off. The next day, however, Mario finds out that the engineer he's working for is also looking for bribes before he'll take the work, and after calling the plumber a "shrimp," Mario throws the engineer's expensive golfing equipment out the window.
Luigi entertains a group of children with a story about a fisherman and a genie (from Arabian Nights), with the moral being "no matter how big, how powerful the guy... (taps his temple) you can ALWAYS beat him with this," before he and Mario do a free job for a church, where they find the ruby locket in an ancient pipe. Luigi thinks it's special since it's the exact same locket he saw in his dream, but Mario hopes to pay off Big Eddie with it; Luigi takes it with him as he goes to Hildy's flower shop, taking a pizza with him as he sees Koopa there, a tall fellow in a coat.
Koopa claims he was hired by her parents to retrieve her, which Hildy is excited about and postpones Luigi's date until tomorrow, to his dismay. Koopa seems odd to him; Luigi gets flashes of inhuman imagery from him such as a reptilian claw and sneezing fire, and discovers he's allergic to mushrooms after offering him a slice of pizza. Luigi has a bad feeling about Koopa and remembering the dream and the locket, he follows after the taxi. Mario, meanwhile, gives Eddie a rock from a bag, believing it was the ruby, and is chased across the city by the gangsters.
The two brothers catch up and get into a scuffle before they duck into a diner in an alleyway, which is abandoned and very suspicious to them, with a frog-themed menu and small furniture. They find a room with a large pipe emanating spooky sounds and Hildy's purse inside, and the two are sucked in.
They land in a grassy meadow where they're attacked by Piranha Plants; they flee and encounter a "3-foot-high mushroom-shaped creature" dangling on a metronome above two Piranha Plants. They free him and he introduces himself as Toad, but are interrupted when a large warship passes over (Kind of an ancient galleon pirate ship without masts or sails. A wood-and-armor hull 50 yards long and 20 yards wide, complete with cannons and two giant spinning propellers attached to the aft of the ship).
The warship lands, allowing them to see that Koopa is aboard, along with various others - Koopa Troopers, Yeelahs (spear-toting, burly, bearded "human" denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom [...] They are peasants forced to service as Koopa's Vichy-like militia.) Hildy and Beedleman(Koopa's wizard and sycophantic right hand man [...] Wearing an elaborately embroidered magician's cloak. He speaks to Bowser in a subtly insulting manner frequently and doesn't appear too fond of him). Koopa returns to his regular form, a half-man half-reptile with scaly claws, an imperial black outfit and cloak. Luigi tries to rescue Hildy, but Koopa flies off in the ship and leaves two Yeelahs to kill them with a catapult spear, but when Luigi shows them the locket, they bow down before the plumbers.
The three are taken to a village, where it's explained that Koopa killed off the royal family except for the king and princess; they believe the king is still out there somewhere. Woltan the Wizard sees the locket, an heirloom of the royal family, but desires to prove their worthiness by sending them on a quest to the Pit of No Return where Koopa banished all their magical items, and he wants his magic wand back. Woltan also notes the Out Pipes on the map, which can get them to various places, even home, and also mentions the quest will make them infinitely richer; Mario likes both of those, but Luigi is interested in legitimately saving the day. Toad writes a note and slips to the barman, who then sends it via carrier turtle to Koopa. Luigi buys a supposedly magical bean from a bum.
Hildy, meanwhile, is imprisoned by Mugger (Koopa's #1 Trooper) while Koopa explains that he wants to marry so he will be connected to the royal family, granting him the Crown of Invincibility, but Hildy must willingly marry him. Beedleman creates a box of chocolates that will make her fall in love with him, but she must eat them all for it to take absolute effect. Mugger, receiving the note from Toad, informs Koopa that the plumbers are still alive, so he's dispatched with two Hammer Brothers to take care of them.
Mario, Luigi and Toad find a pipe that emits items "lost" in our world - pens, combs, shoes, etc, and they discover Mario's father's Swiss army knife, which was given to Luigi when he was a kid but lost. Mario's a bit pissy about that. They camp out there and Mario complains to Toad about Luigi, how having a brother is "like having a rock in your shoe you can never shake out. It's underwear that always keeps riding UP!", but Luigi, pretending to be asleep, hears the whole thing. He makes no mention of it. In the morning, the group are continuing on their way but Mario tries to lead them to an Out Pipe, but Luigi has no time to complain before Mugger and the Hammer Brothers attack on horses, prompting our heroes to flee via a carriage. The Hammer Bros. are defeated by being pelted with fruit but the group's carriage crashes, and they hide out near a hag who claims she was made ugly by a spell and needs kissed by someone with a warm heart to cure her; Mario's kiss is insufficient as apparently his heart is too cold.
The group makes their way to a forest where they encounter an egg, a brontosaurus-like creature hatching from it which they call Junior; it treats Mario like a mother and uses its long tongue to eat fruit, but they leave it behind as they enter the Pit of No Return. It's filled with traps, including Thwomps and Bob-Ombs, but they find the stockpile of magical items, though they can only take one; Luigi takes magic mushroom powder that can break any spell, Toad takes a box of flight gear (a long red leaf), while Mario takes Woltan's wand and sneaks a gem with him, but a ghost steals it off him when he tries to leave. They escape with their lives, only to run into Koopa, Mugger and some Troopers; Toad and Luigi are shoved down a pit while Mario is saved by Junior who speeds him out of the forest. Luigi uses the flight gear to gain raccoon ears and a tail to fly into a tunnel with Toad, but by that time Mario has fled and Koopa's crew have gone.
Mario says to Junior how he wished he could get some time alone from his brother, but now that he believes Luigi died in the pit he knows now to wish for the wrong things. Junior hears a trumpeting animal call, presumed to be from its mother and it leaves. Woltan appears out of nowhere and reclaims his wand, and the two head to Koopa's castle, but on the way Woltan is zapped by lightning in a storm and all that is left of him is ash and the ruby locket. Luigi and Toad, in an underground cavern, are chased by a giant albino mole (presumably based off a Monty Mole), but are saved when the bean Luigi bought starts growing into a beanstalk and takes them to the surface.
Luigi and Toad witness Mario heading inside Koopa's castle, but it's actually an illusion by Beedleman and Mario is kidnapped; Luigi saves him from some Yeelahs and the three take their armour.
Toad waits outside Koopa's castle as Mario and Luigi head inside and accidentally end up on stage during Koopa's bachelor party, prompting them to do a song and dance about how super he is, though Mugger knows who they really are underneath the armour. The two try to rescue Hildy, but she's become hag-like and violent, chasing them out and letting Mugger take them to the dungeon. The dungeon has a floor of ice; every night it freezes and every morning it melts, the dungeon keeper explains, and beneath the ice are ravenous razor fish.
The brothers have a heart-to-heart where Luigi explains he wanted to leave Mario ("I woulda bought you a first class ticket!" Mario comments) but before their mother died, she made him promise to look after Mario, as she feared that he only cared about work, he would grow bitter and hateful, and Luigi thinks he's failed in that task. He gives Mario the Swiss army knife back. In the morning the ice begins melting, forcing the brothers to stand on a shrinking platform of ice, but Toad saves the day by poisoning the dungeon keeper with one of the fungi growing from his head and pulling them to safety with a rope.
Hildy having finished the love chocolates, Koopa starts the wedding, but our heroes don't foil it before she says "I do," granting Koopa the power of the Crown of Invincibility. Luigi uses the magic mushroom powder to break Hildy out of the love spell, and she, he, Mario and Toad try to flee but Koopa turns Luigi to stone. Chain Chomps chase after them and Trooper use roto-discs(a gleaming steel disc with a razor-sharp edge), but Luigi is used as a shield and then as a platform to ride down on the spillway.
The spillway leads to a rickety bridge above a sea of lava, but Koopa lands on the bridge; Mario opens the locket and shouts at Woltan for help, but Woltan's voice just says only Mario has the power to beat Koopa. Hildy and Toad take Luigi the rest of the way while Mario stands to face him. Koopa clones himself and hurls fireballs at him, then uppercuts him off the bridge, but Mario grabs hold of a rope. Remembering the story Luigi was telling the kids back in Brooklyn, he knows he can't use brawn to win this match.
He goads Bowser into making himself bigger and bigger; his troops think it's a trap to make him crush the platform he's on, so he floats into the air to rectify that, but Mario's plan was to make the crown unable to fit on his head anymore. The crown falls off and Koopa falls into the lava. After a moment's relief, a fiery wraith-like version of Koopa's head rises from the lava, but Mario just tells him to gave up. Game over. "Realising that he's lost, Koopa WAILS, spitting a last burst of flames skyward, then collapses into the lava. Forever."
Everyone celebrates, including Mugger, Beedleman and the Troopers; Luigi breaks free of his stone shell and Woltan reappears, using his wand to reveal himself as the king who was believed to be gone. Returned to his kingdom, King Woltan announces he will let his daughter return to her world, as he's married a barmaid so he can produce more heirs. Mario, Luigi and Toad are presented tiny medals, which disgusts Mario - he was expecting infinite riches. Woltan explains he is infinitely richer - in his heart. Toad thinks he should run for village elder. The hag returns and kisses Mario, and like she said, she transforms into a beautiful woman. Mario is mesmerized, but he, Luigi and Hildy are sucked into a pipe and back to Brooklyn before they can chat. Three months later, Luigi and Hildy are married and Mario has finally paid off Big Eddie. However, he claims he has no time for love due to his busy work, but he notices a woman outside who looks like the transformed hag. He steps outside and talks to her.
Why It Was Cancelled
- The special effects of the 1990s were not the same as those of 2020.
- The studio was afraid that the budget could increase and the film would be expensive to produce.
- The producers were probably worried that the whole budget might explode, which is why they abandoned this script.
- Mom and Dad Save the World, directed by Greg Beeman, received negative reviews.
- Greg Beeman was fired and the script written by Jim Jennewein and Tom S. Parker was dropped, causing the film to be canceled.
- Another live-action Mario film was made in 1993 with a script written by Parker Bennet, Terry Runté and Ed Solomon and directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Janckel, starrinng Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy and Dennis Hopper as Bowser Koopa.