Do You Know ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Original Movie’s Messy Backstory?

SUPER MARIO BROS. (aka SUPER MARIO BROTHERS), from left: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, 1993,
Buena Vista/Courtesy Everett Collection

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Super Mario Bros. film in 1993, along with this year’s new The Super Mario Bros. Movie currently in theaters, we take a look back at how the world-famous Nintendo-game turned international franchise has evolved.

Unlike most films we talk about 30 years later, Super Mario Bros. starring John Leguizamo as Luigi and Bob Hoskins as Mario, was viewed by many as an utter disaster. Not only was the film nothing like the actual video game it gets its name from, the behind-the-scenes story in getting the film even made was just as bizarre.

The production went over schedule and budget, the film had nine different writers at one point before shooting even began, and everyone involved could never seem to get along with each other.

SUPER MARIO BROS., (aka SUPER MARIO BROTHERS), from left: Annabel Jankel, John Leguizamo, Bob Hoskins, Rocky Morton, directors, 1993.

Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

In a 2007 interview, Hoskins said, “The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Bros. It was a @#!$in’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! @#!$in’ nightmare. @#!$in’ idiots.”

Now some consider it cult classic, which has led to it developing a following over the years. Although Nintendo regrets allowing so many other voices to have a say in displaying its superstar characters to the cinema world, since then they have built up the Super Mario Bros. brand to become a household name across the world.

 Oh What A Year: 1980
Want More?

Oh What A Year: 1980

January 2020

Take a look back at our retrospect of the year 1980 where we celebrate the hottest in movies, music and TV.

Buy This Issue