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Weirdness: In An Alternate Universe Danny DeVito Would Have Starred in Super Mario Bros. The Movie

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Oscar winning script writer was also lined up

It has its defenders that'll protect its honour from a hail of criticism, but the Super Mario Bros. movie isn't exactly universally loved. It was the film equivalent of interpretive dance — it vaguely resembled its subject matter but was ultimately confusing and bonkers.

It could have been an entirely different movie, however. Check out this tweet from Console Wars author Blake J. Harris, below, which outlines Nintendo's early pre-production plans for the movie.

Danny DeVito was planned to play "one of the brothers" though, frankly, due to his short stature he would inevitably be cast as Mario. More intriguingly Nintendo was lining up a heavy-hitting name to write the script — Barry Morrow is an oscar winning screenwriter (for Rain Man) that was working on the project but was not credited in the final result. Perhaps the zany and almost nonsensical approach that was adopted wasn't to his tastes.

Would you have liked Danny DeVito to star in this movie? Was not appearing in it the best move he ever made? He seems to have been Nintendo's number one choice, though he ended up number two.

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User Comments (39)

FragRed

#4

FragRed said:

@ejvirzi Theres a lot of problems with the movie, the design of characters is certainly one of the major ones though.

But to be honest, despite how much that picture at the top freaks me out, thinking about it Danny DeVito certainly does seem like a good choice.

Wonder if Nintendo had a number one choice to be Luigi? And maybe, Nintendo should look to produce a proper Super Mario movie in the future.

DiscoGentleman

#8

DiscoGentleman said:

Oh my god! Glad it was Bob Hoskins, but I do love me some Danny Devito. I'd love to see HIM write/direct a new Mario Bros. Make it weird and give it black humor, like Throw Momma From The Train or Death To Smoochy.
Love that man.

DiscoGentleman

#9

DiscoGentleman said:

But yeah, the Mario Bros. movie is awful, but that's why I love it. That and nostalgia from childhood. Same thing with the Super Mario Bros. show. It's so god awful but that's why it's a novelty.

Sentinator

#10

Sentinator said:

I liked this film. It was an awesome blend of dinosaurs and Mario. Did Daisy actually originate in that or was she based on Daisy?

TG1

#12

TG1 said:

Love that end line Thomas! Devito was great alongside Michael Keaton's Batman.

Yoshis95

#14

Yoshis95 said:

anyone remember the Donkey Kong show? like how they had King K. Rule's tail strangely short?

rbmoura85

#15

rbmoura85 said:

1 milion points to whoever identifies whats the Batman Returns reference in this article....

(oops! sorry, apparently this was already mentioned...hehe)

NintendoFan64

#18

NintendoFan64 said:

...Huh. That's interesting. Anyways, I know most people hate the film with a passion, but I find it to be a guilty pleasure.

SpookyMeths

#20

SpookyMeths said:

Keep in mind that an "Oscar-winning script writer" also wrote Batman & Robin. You know, the one with Arnie Freeze and Batnips.

fortuneandlame

#21

fortuneandlame said:

The episode that the gang tries to figure out who knocked up Dee, in IASIP, Dennis plays Luigi and Mac was suppose to show up as Mario, or vice versa. Anyways Frank came as a spider - man, they missed a good opportunity to make Danny look all dressed up as Mario. Still a great episode.

ajcismo

#22

ajcismo said:

Danny DeVito would've been great, but considering the guy they wound up casting was by no-means a slouch in Mr.Hoskins (RIP), I fear SMB would've been doomed regardless.

Tasuki

#23

Tasuki said:

I remember when I was a kid hearing that Danny DeVito was in talks for the SMB movie. Next thing I know Bob Hoskins was casted and I never heard what happened with Danny. My brother said it was because he was doing Penguin at the time for Batman Returns and that's why they went with Bob Hoskins but I think he may be wrong cause those movies were about a year apart.

xj0462

#24

xj0462 said:

whether this would have made the movie better or not, we will probably never know

JustinH

#25

JustinH said:

DeVito's good, but Bob Hoskins was perfect and not at all the problem with the movie.

DBPirate

#26

DBPirate said:

@xj0462 It wouldn't have. ;)

Still would have liked to have seen that Super Paper Mario movie that was talked about around 2007.

KFlow325

#29

KFlow325 said:

"Dodge Dragons and Rescue Princesses" ... whoa...is this foreboding of what's to come?...scary time for the plumber bros...

KFlow325

#30

KFlow325 said:

No dragons in SMB and there is only one Princess....Devito actually would have probably helped that movie but was wisely advised to work on something better...good for him

earthboundlink

#32

earthboundlink said:

I seem to recall reading once that the original script had a kind of a weird, dark vibe, and the studio execs thought it wouldn't work for families and kids, so they tried to rework the whole thing in a couple of days, causing a seismic shift in the directing and staffing. The result was utter nonsense, but still retaining an odd darkness that just felt out of place given the ridiculous plot and overall sense of silliness.

It was a terrible, terrible movie. I would have liked to have seen the original treatment, because I think the concept could work.

Just once, I'd like to see a good video-game-to-movie transition.

NTELLIGENTMAN

#33

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

I would rather they have had the Mario Bros. wielding flame throwers while fighting dinosaurs in the sewers than what they actually gave us on film.

SethNintendo

#34

SethNintendo said:

@CaviarMeths

"What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"

Imagine Arnold as Mr. Freeze as a cameo in Super Mario Bros.

On a side note... I always thought he had a quote "Chill out" in Batman and Robin. The movie was terrible but Arnold's puns almost make it watchable (only to laugh at how stupid the movie is).

SpookyMeths

#35

SpookyMeths said:

@SethNintendo Oh definitely. If it comes on TV and I'm bored, I'd probably give it a watch just for the campy goodness. Terrible movie, but in a good way.

Squid

#36

Squid said:

Ah I see, so this is why Sega was able to get him for the Sonic movie instead...

Untitled

Copper_Kidd

#38

Copper_Kidd said:

@DiscoGentleman :) I love the Super Mario Super Show I don't even find it god awful. Super Mario Bros. 3 was my favorite Nintendo cartoon though or maybe the mario world cartoon.

Henmii

#39

Henmii said:

Probably would have been the better choice. But would it have saved the movie... hard to tell.

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