1. Super Mario Bros. was the first video game franchise-based movie
and it set the tone for how terrible video game movies usually are.
2. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario as well as other classic Nintendo franchises, thought that the movie was bad because it was actually too similar to the game.
He told Edge Online the following: “The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself.”
Yes, he thought a movie that had next to nothing to do with the video game was too close to the source material. Wow.
3. Thwomps actually “appear” in the film…
it’s just that they show up in boot form; the boots in the alternate dinosaur universe are called “Thwomp Stompers”
4. Bob Hoskins said doing the movie was “a f***in’ nightmare”
Hoskins told The Guardian: “The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a fuckin’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! Fuckin’ nightmare. Fuckin’ idiots.”
5. Danny DeVito was a serious candidate to play Mario but he chose to act in Hoffa instead.
7. Michael Keaton was offered the role of “King Koopa” but he passed. Lucky for him.
9. The hacks behind the live action Flintstones film (Jim Jennewein and Tom S. Parker) wrote the first draft of the script.
I guess they should’ve stayed out of Hollywood…
10. The film went through several directors. The husband and wife team of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hated by the crew so much that they were referred to as “the Hydra” and “Rocky and Annabel, the Flying Squirrel Show”. Damn.
The duo was eventually canned.
11. The script had at least six different writers.
And they were all as smart as one of these “goomba” guys.
12. A New York Times film reviewer actually liked it.
From Janet Maslin’s NYT review of the film: “Eleven-year-old boys, the ideal viewers for this vigorous live-action comic strip, will no doubt be impressed with the expense and energy that have gone into bringing “Super Mario Brothers” to the screen. Other viewers may wonder how they came to be watching a film about parallel universes, punitive devolution, creatures who eat grilled salamanders on hot-dog rolls, and one memorably disgusting character who has been transformed into a ball of slime.
The answer doubtless has more to do with marketing tie-ins than with creative thinking. Allowing for that, and for the total superfluity of this whole enterprise, “Super Mario Brothers” is not without its selling points. This film’s two directors and three screenwriters have clearly tried hard to breathe life into their nonstory, to the point where the film’s intensity seems more crazy than cynical. And its special effects are well executed even when their purpose is less than clear.”
Read the full review here.