Q&A With The Creator of There Will Be Brawl


The darkly humorous mini-series, There Will Be Brawl, is heading toward it’s finale, this Friday, December 18th at noon EST, right here on The Escapist and it should not be missed! In celebration of this momentous occasion, we have assembled the There Will Be Brawl Marathon! Watch all the past episodes before the clock strikes 12AM midnight EST on Friday and get a special badge to show off on your Escapist profile.

To begin your Brawl Marathon click here.

As an added bonus to the There Will Be Brawl series finale, we asked the producer of the series, Matthew Mercer, a bunch of questions:

Who came up with setting the Mushroom Kingdom in a film noir story?

This really began when Zach brought up in a conversation just how screwed up Kirby is as a character, when you get down to it. He eats people, then wears their skin. This lead us into a comparison with Silence of the Lambs, and we just kept building on to this twisted, dark, adult world of Nintendo. A few hours later, we stopped and decided “Why the hell not? Let’s actually make this!”

Did you always think of Kirby as a bloodthirsty cannibal or did that come up in needing a villain?

Kirby was the very first thing to spark the entire project, and his character hasn’t had to change much since his first inception. He’s one of our favorite characters in the series, and I reeeeeeally enjoy using his voice in RL during highly inappropriate moments.

Do you script the episodes strictly or is there a lot of improvisation and collaboration on set?

Zach Grafton, our writer, scripts the episodes out entirely, and we stick to them fairly stringently. All of the dialogue has a purpose, so we want to make sure we don’t miss any necessary beats/clues that can come back to haunt us. That being said, there is always an air of collaboration between the cast and crew, and on more than one occasion we’ve added bits and lines that the actor spontaneously threw out there and made the scene 10 times better.

Did you know how it was going to end when you started producing the series?

We did have the entire story arc outlined from the beginning, with the ending very clear in our minds the entire series… which was surreal upon finally getting to shoot some of these moments we’d been mulling over for a year. That being said, we continued to expand upon the world and the middle-meat of the story as we progressed, lending to the extensions of the series from the original 8 to 10 episodes.

It seems like everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom is looking out for themselves, is there anyone left with integrity to lead when it’s time to rebuild the kingdom?

There are quite a few characters who have the “spark” to reclaim the glory of the Kingdom, but they’ve also become products of their environment. Every character, for the most part, has their light and their dark… as for your question, we shall have to see.

What have been some of the hardest costumes to make and sets to build?

The costumes for Bowser and Kirby were quite difficult to create, partially to function properly, but also to ride that line between the realistic, gritty feel of the show, and the very cartoony, exaggerated design they are based on. Set-wise, the prison in episode 7 was pretty rough to produce, as we had about 2 days to create, from scratch, 4 full walls of prison bars that were mobile, transportable, and looked good on camera. Whoo boy.

It’s a pretty dark show, is the vibe on set very upbeat?

The vibe on set is generally very upbeat… until 3:00am rolls around and you still have about 12 shots to get. In all seriousness, we are blessed with a very fantastic, fun cast and crew, so through all the hard work and long, painful hours, we’re laughing and joking our way with a smile. Also, booze.

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