On Twitter, a writer on the Super Mario Bros movie Ed Soloman talked about how he doesn’t feel he deserves the credit for that role and he also confessed that he hasn’t even seen the final version of the film.
Check out what he said below:
I’d just come off of Bill & Ted and a couple other lightweight things. Then I got a call from my agent: “Roland Joffe wants to meet you.” I was like – “ME?!?!?” (He’d just made The Killing Fields and The Mission.) I was stoked. So I met, not knowing why. Then he said he had the rights to Super Mario Bros, & that the directors of Max Headroom were doing it. They had a script – but it didn’t really make sense (it had already been re-written & re-written). And NO distributor. I was excited: ROLAND JOFFE! Also the financier was a guy named Jake Eberts, who funded a bunch of high class films. This seemed AMAZING.
They assured me they were doing the “high end” version of this. And that if I did he’d back me as a director. Seemed like a no brainer. Then I read the script. And – truly – I didn’t understand what they were doing. I had two weeks to rewrite it. I did my best, & afterwards Disney came on to distribute the film, so I feel like I did my job there. And it was the first – and only – time I’d gotten an actual surprise *bonus* at the end.
Then a few weeks later they asked if I could come down to the set. The were out of money (for salary), so my deal was that for every day I worked they’d pay for me & my (then) girlfriend to go on a vacation. I went down for about a week or so. Maybe 10 days. One of the directors (Annabel) was super nice & available for open convo. I didn’t have the same experience with her (then) husband. He sorta viewed my presence as a threat. Did I accomplish anything? Not sure. I got to witness an.. “event.” First hand. And meet some great folks.
I DO admire this about it: they were actually TRYING to do something interesting. And one of the fundamental premises (there before I was involved) – “What if there were humans who evolved from reptiles and not mammals?” – was a cool premise. And it had a fascinating cast.
@samanthamathis was super nice & great. @JohnLeguizamo was super cool, too. I got to have dinner with Dennis Hopper, & when I asked how he got to direct this thing he was gonna direct, he grabbed my shirt across the table & yelled: “I’M ONE OF THE BEST DIRECTORS IN AMERICA, MAN.”
I never saw the finished film. And didn’t realize I’d gotten credit till it was over. I guess during the WGA arbitration, I was out of town & didn’t know it even was happening. I truly think I ended up with credit cause I didn’t try NOT to, and no one else wanted it.
It’s odd – I can’t say I regret the experience. I just can’t really take credit for having written it – even for those who like it (and there are, weirdly, quite a few people who do). And it’s a little hard having people ask me about it all the time. Cause the answer is complex.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.