(Photo by Universal Pictures)
Mario would have to punch a lot of blocks and collect a lot of gold coins to match the amount of money The Super Mario Bros. Movie made in its opening weekend at the box office. The film is a huge success with audiences (critics, less so), and it grossed over $377 million worldwide in its debut. It’s a hit, and there’s little doubt that Universal and Illumination are going to make sequels. Naturally, the movie offers quite a few options for where the franchise can go.
The Mario video game series is famously amenable to sequels and spin-offs. Maybe Mario defeats Bowser again, or maybe they all just decide to play tennis or golf together. Maybe they have a Mario Party. The film, by virtue of being more narrative-based than most of the games, had to work a little harder to pave the way for sequels, but there are lots of options based on the way the movie ends — and especially that second post-credits sequence.
Warning: There are spoilers for the end of The Super Mario Bros. Movie ahead.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)
Perhaps the biggest way that The Super Mario Bros. Movie tees up potential sequels is that the ending sets up a new status quo. The movie is basically a Mario Bros. origin story, which means that a follow-up film can just jump (pun intended) straight to Mario and Luigi’s next adventure without having to explain Mushroom Kingdom’s whole deal or how these two plumbers got there. The first film ends with the reveal that Mario and Luigi, having defeated Bowser and saved Brooklyn from the Koopa King’s wrath, have taken up residence in the Mushroom Kingdom, seemingly permanently. (That they were able to return to the Mushroom Kingdom from our world, and the reveal in the post-credits sequence, leaves the door open for future returns to Brooklyn via Warp Pipe.)
Now that Mario and Luigi live in the Mushroom Kingdom, they can be on hand right away if Bowser — last seen in the first post-credits scene as a shrunk-down prisoner in Peach’s castle — finds a way to escape and attack again. It’s an easy starting point.
(Photo by ©Nintendo)
The second post-credits scene is the most obvious sequel tease. The action cuts back to the labyrinth of pipes underneath Brooklyn. There, among some of the wreckage from Bowser’s incursion during the film’s climax, lies a familiar white egg with green spots. Just as it starts to hatch, the camera cuts to black. This means that Yoshi will almost certainly be in any sequel, and in a major role. (Some multicolored Yoshis appear, briefly, in the montage when Mario, Peach, and Toad first travel across various lands to get to the Kong Kingdom, but this presumably will be the green Yoshi that fans know and love.)
Adding Yoshi to the mix is a natural next step for the Mario movie franchise, but it doesn’t actually set up that much plot. Mario will ride Yoshi, certainly, and maybe he’ll have to go to Brooklyn in order to meet up with Yoshi, but then what?
(Photo by ©Nintendo)
Well, there are tons of options. The next movie could bring Wario and Waluigi, Mario and Luigi’s dark counterparts, into the fold. Or perhaps the sequel could move to the stars, taking a page out of Super Mario Galaxy’s book. (The nihilistic blue star who wished for the sweet release of death in Bowser’s dungeon is a Luma, one of the little guys who hangs out with the character Rosalina, a sort of space version of Peach, in the Galaxy games.) Daisy, another princess, could appear as well. Maybe Luigi will have to do battle with ghosts, a la the Luigi’s Mansion series. Bowser’s children, the Koopalings and Bowser Jr., are also candidates for a sequel.
And there are some unanswered questions the sequel could explore. The Super Mario Movie reveals that Princess Peach came to the Mushroom Kingdom from somewhere else (maybe the real world, like Mario?) via a Warp Pipe when she was just a baby. This origin story, it’s worth noting, is not too dissimilar from Rosalina’s background in the first Super Mario Galaxy. Might a sequel be the search for Peach’s family?
Finally, there’s Donkey Kong, who alongside Diddy Kong and the rest of the characters from DK’s whole franchise of his own, could easily support a spin-off movie.
The Mario video game series may be light on plot, but there are so many iconic and beloved characters and ideas in them that there is no shortage of options for future films to draw on. What would you be most excited to see next? Let us know in the comments!
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is currently in theaters.