You might not even remember the first Mario Bros. movie, or maybe you’ve simply retconned it out of existence. Deny it all you want, it happened.
Yes, in 1993 Disney’s Buena-Vista Pictures released a live-action film that was loosely based on the Super Mario Bros. game series. Very, very loosely. The villain, King Koopa (not even Bowser, though the 90’s cartoon made this same mistake as well) was a human and played by Dennis Hopper. Mario and Luigi were respectfully portrayed by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo while Samantha Mathis played Princess Daisy instead of Peach Toadstool, who was even more obscure back in 1993 having only appeared in Super Mario Land on the GameBoy. Toad was a homeless punk rocker, giant fish Big Bertha was an overweight nightclub performer and Yoshi? Well…I think someone shut the fence off in the rain.
Due to the film’s financial and critical failings, the cliffhanger ending was never resolved and a sequel was never produced. Nintendo has continuously referenced this film as the sole reason why they have shied away from movie licensing deals over the past twenty years. While there are rumors and rumblings of an animated Mario film in the works, it appears there is actually already a sequel to the Total Recall-ish 1993 live-action film…in comic form.
The script’s writers Parker Bennett, Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss have decided to explore the idea of a sequel set in the unique cyber-punk future world of Dinohatten. Bennett said he was “hopelessly optimistic” when he teased a sequel at the end of the original film, explaining that they began this comic because he did not want all of their ideas for the sequel to be left unexplored.
With the help of artists Eryk Donovan and Brett Michael Cook, a Super Mario Bros. 2 graphic novel went live earlier in the summer. The story continues from the end of the first film as promised, pulling the Bob Hoskin’s Mario and co. back into the action as Daisy discovers a new breed of enemy pouring out of a mysterious alternate universe. The movie versions of Toad and Yoshi appear, Luigi’s romance with Daisy is continued and we are also introduced to the movie version of Shy Guys who are portrayed as terrifying clawed, masked assassins.
It’s a fascinating read and lots of fun to see this alternative version of such a widely recognized universe continue to unfold. There are no plans to release physical copies of the graphic novel but the website promises that the option will be explored in the future if copyright laws allow for it.
A new page will be released every week at http://smbthecomic.com/.
Sate your curiosity and check it out!