News Article

The Super Mario Bros Movie Could Have Turned Out Very Differently

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Read original drafts that powered up to become the final film

"Women are like old-time sinks. They run hot or cold, no in between."

That's just one of the many lines, this one spoken by Mario himself, that might have ended up in the 1993 Super Mario Bros movie had the producers gone with one of four original scripts. It turns out that quite a saga of re-writing occurred to bring us what we have today. We'll just pause for a moment to let you reflect on that.

A cameo by Bruce Willis, a princess named Hildy and more appear in the four pre-production drafts: the original "fantasy" script, the "Ghostbusters-inspired" sci-fi comedy script, the transitional "Die Hard-inspired" sci-fi/action script and the secondary "Max Max-inspired" sci-fi/action script. Contributions from Max Headroom's Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel and Across the Universe/ Flushed Away's Dick Clement & Ian la Frenais feature, so go take a peek at what might have been.


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User Comments (37)



Bass_X0 said:

I remember watching this in the cinema. It wasn't a great movie but I was a young and a huge Mario fan so I didn't care. Or even notice at the time.



SuperLink said:

I read the overviews. The Mad Max one would have been waaay too mature little kid Mario fans. I would have liked the Ghostbusters one, what with the slight humor and numerous game references.



JayArr said:

"Mad Max-style death races in the desert and rampant sex and drug-use between Koopa and his ambitious secretary Lena."

This was the script that roped Dennis Hopper. Bet he was raged when they handed him the slop of a script that became the movie. D:



Link79 said:

I honestly didn't hate this movie. I still have the VHS tape and watch it sometimes just for laughs. At least some of the soundtrack was cool.
That Girl that played Daisy was pretty cute too.

Come on everybody let's walk the Dinosaur!



NintyMan said:

When I was young I thought this was cool, but now it looks and sounds too weird. Why couldn't they make an honest-to-goodness and faithful Super Mario film? It shouldn't be that hard. Out of those scripts the Fantasy one sounds like the better, except they should've stuck with Toadstool instead of Hildy. Makes you think what they would've done if they got their hands on Zelda?



DiggerandIndy said:

I thought the movie was pure trash. It followed very little to the original story and it was so stupid it was unwatchable! Blame Hollywood and its ilk.



Punny said:

That Wizard of Oz script sounds more Mario-ish than the final one. THAT would have made the movie a bit better. But HILDY!? Seriously? I'm glad the Princess was Daisy (even though Toadstool would have been a better choice; Daisy has only been captured once compared to the thousands of times Peach has).



NocturnalYoshi said:

@DiggerandIndy- I couldn't agree more.
I watched it on youtube months ago(I was surfing the web looking for mario stuff, and came across the movie on a site, so i youtubed it.) All i could think was WTF!?!?!?!?! It was nothing like the Mario I know. Since when was Bowser human!?!?(or related to T-rex?) When the heck did Luigi fall in love with Princess Daisy? Aren't Goombas are supposed to be short mushroom like beings. It made no sense. I honestly think that this movie was a disgrace to the mario franchise. The only thing I liked was the Yoshi. He was pretty cool.



Digit-Aria said:

@JayArr Actually, the script that was handed to them when they came onto the set to begin filming wasn't that bad. It was written by Ed Solomon, the guy who did Bill & Ted 1 and 2 and MIB. The only problem is that they cut out a lot of scenes, so the heart of the movie definitely isn't there anymore.

@NintyFan They couldn't make a truly "faithful" fantasy adaptation at the time because it would have simply been too expensive.

@NocturnalYoshi It seems as if you don't know much about Super Mario Bros. if you believe Luigi isn't paired with Daisy. Plus, as far as the Goombas go, no one really knew how big they were at the time. Goomba sprites in all the games at the time were twice as large as "small" Mario and the same height as "Super" Mario. They also didn't have any official artwork that showed the two together for size comparizon. So, it's perfectly fair for them to have been envisioned as hulking monsters.



Scribbler said:

I always thought Super Mario Bros. could've made a decent animated series (And no, SMBSS and the like doesn't count.) if it were episodic and continuous (sort of like the bite-sized "levels" of the game) and relied more on the supporting characters to carry the story rather than the setting, paper-thin plot, or even Mario himself (a la Paper Mario 2).

The movie, however, seemed doomed from the start. Turning a game meant to be played in quick spurts into a feature-length film that requires the audience to sit still for hours? Trust me. It could've been much, much worse.



Link79 said:

This couldn't be worse than the live action segments on the Super Mario Bros Super show. Yeah Lou Albano was exactly like the real Mario right? Somehow that show was probably still more popular than this movie.



NocturnalYoshi said:

@ Digit Aria I know plenty about Super Mario Bros. I'm not going to lie, I made some errors in my previous response. I don't know much about Luigi and Daisy's relationship. I didn't even know they had one. but considering the two of them are not together in most games, you can't blame me for not knowing. The only Mario games I play that include Daisy are the Mario Party games. As for Goomba,. They are Marios size, but not until Later games have I seen certain Goombas that tower over Mario, like in the movie. The Goombas in the movie were also reptile like, and had small heads. In the games the Goombas head is the biggest part of its body.



Raylax said:

I love the people still enticed into rage by a movie released almost twenty years ago. It happened. It sucked. Get over it.



Digit-Aria said:

@Scribbler Actually, considering the fact that the original NES Mario games (as well as most NES titles) didn't have a save feature I don't think it's accurate to say that they were intended to be played in "quick spurts."

@Sushi Do you really think it sucked? It has its faults, sure, but it's definitely a fun and intriguing take on the games. It's at least a welcome alternative to Martinet's high-pitched, "Micky Mouse" voice.



Tasuki said:

You know its a bad movie when the main star (Bob Hoskins) hated making it.



hYdeks said:

this movie could have been alot more but it's hard to take a character like mario and luigi and make them real life characters. Movie does suck, but it's one of those sucky movies, like the wizard, that I like



BlueBandanaJake said:

There's nothing wrong with this movie.

...well, except for everything
I liked this movie as a kid, but it's pretty bad, atleast hilariously so XD



antster1983 said:

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais? Wow what a script that would have been?

"Mario Stanley Mario, you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual plumber, who rescues princesses as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts her promise of cake in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these occurrences — you will be Bowser's lackey until Luigi Mario wins a house and rescues you."

Just an idea, paraphrasing the opening of the classic sitcom Porridge, but there you go



Digit-Aria said:

@antster1983 Ah, a British poster! Yes, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais wrote a fascinating take on the story. However, they wrote more of an action-packed and adult version of the story rather than their signature British comedy stylings.

In fact, their scripts are almost completely devoid of comedy. Still, I would highly recommend reading their (second) script since it presents an early view at most of the things that would appear in the finished film.



TKOWL said:

Anyone who paid to see this movie when it was in theaters, I feel sorry for you.



NassaDane said:

Doesn't matter what we could of got, I'm glad we got what we got. It was the only good videogame to movie transition that worked.



Teh-Ray said:

As a kid, I loved anything branded with "Mario" on it. I saw this movie, and I loved it so much, just because it had "Mario" in it.

As an adult, I got a chance to see this movie again a month or so ago. Based on what I remember, I still like it. It's so bad, it's good, and I think people need to see it again if they didn't see all the Mario references in it. Sure, it doesn't resemble Mario & Co. at all, but it referenced the game quite well. It had bob-ombs, bullet bills, and of course, their traditional red&green get ups, even if it's not an exact look-a-like. Hell, they even got those fortress blocks from Super Mario Bros. 3 in it, which I think was a nice touch.

I'm not going to defend the movie, I was just pointing out that it was a little more Mario than people give it credit for.



Davidmoreaux said:

I liked this movie when I was little and own it on dvd now its not the best movie ever but I think it was good.



MeloMan said:

I always love reading the comments from people regarding this movie... anything SMB movie related NEVER gets old to me

I haven't read the scripts yet, but being an avid Ghostbusters fan, it couldn't get any better than GB and Mario back in those days for me [...still...] so I'll have to read that script. It's amazing that despite how campy the movie was, it was a "good" campy, as opposed to the total bottom feed that is say, Double Dragon (IMO the worst VG to movie ever made despite a blatant bum shot of Alyssa Milano and one time cool guy Robert Patrick, lol).



Digit-Aria said:

@PSICOffee Arnold Schwarzenegger was their original choice for Koopa.

@MeloMan The Parker Bennett/Terry Runté initial draft is definitely a very good read, at least up until the third act when everything falls apart. That's no fault of their own as they were let go before they could revise it further.

To be perfectly honest, the "Ghostbusters" influence doesn't go much farther than a general tone and "Bill Murray" vibe with Mario (though that's more pronounced in their original 7 page draft, which isn't yet on the site.

Still, it's a wonderful take with lots of clever game references, amusing banter between the characters and just a very sincere try at doing something fun.



Henmii said:

The movie was rubbish. The only good thing was the thing at the beginning where Luigi puts his face in. That way you get a 3D pixelated view. Does anybody know what I mean?

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