Behind the Scenes: Why the Mario Bros. Movie Reverses Peach and Luigi’s Characters

Aaron Horvath (Super Mario Bros. Movie Co-Director) explains why Mario needs to rescue Luigi, his scaredy-cat brother, and not Princess Peach.

Aaron Horvath (co-director of Super Mario Bros. Movie) explains to Luigi why he is taking over the role of damsel-in-distress from Princess Peach.

Horvath spoke to Total Film magazine about the changes made for Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming animated film. Horvath clarifies, “[Luigi] assumes the Princess Peach part in our story.” Mario has set out to save Bowser from his brother. To achieve this goal, he will have to embark upon an epic adventure. Luigi, an infamously anxious, nervous character, finds herself in the worst situation possible: having to endure interrogations with Bowser and make it through that gauntlet.

Related: Super Mario Bros. Movie Winning Back Fans after Casting Controversy.

Horvath stated that the idea of Mario saving Princess Peach by rescuing Bowser from her was too straightforward for the movie. While this story has been told many times in Super Mario games, Super Mario Odyssey is a particular favorite. Horvath was inspired however by Super Mario 3D World. Princess Peach, while not a damsel who needs to be rescued by the evil Bowser from Super Mario 3D World is still a playable figure just like the Italian plumber.

Princess Peach, Fearless Leader

Horvath explained, “She’s a monarch who leads the kingdom of hapless but adorable Toads.” “We were trying to imagine how strong that person would be to defend those people. All this led to the creation of Peach’s character for our movie. The marketing campaign for The Super Mario Bros. Movie shows Princess Peach in her new active role. This includes her racing down Rainbow Road with a poster evoking nostalgia and Mario Kart. Their fear-prone nature of Luigi is also evident. One trailer even pays tribute to Luigi’s Mansion. A kid-friendly alternative to Resident Evil, where Luigi must overcome the fear of ghosts by using a Ghostbusters-like vacuum cleaner.

Related: Super Mario Bros. Movie Plumbing Ad Drops an Old-Fashioned Theme

Super Mario Bros. Movie has been the first animated Hollywood movie produced by Universal Pictures. The movie is produced and directed by Illumination. It’s the animated studio responsible for Despicable Me as well as Secret Life of Pets. Horvath is co-director along with Michael Jelenic, Batman. The Brave and the Bold and Teen Titans.

A list of celebrities is cast in roles as famous Nintendo characters. Many Nintendo fans were unhappy with Pratt’s decision to replace Charles Martinet (longtime Mario voice actor), but Horvath believes Pratt is going to win them over when hits theaters on April 7.

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