Joey Paur

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The behind-the-scenes stories of the original Super Mario Bros. movie are just as bonkers as what the movie ended up being. The original script was more in the vein of Rain Man and was an “existential road-trip” involving Mario and Luigi. It was more of a dramatic film and the producing team wanted to interject more comedy into it. The first of many rewrites came from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure writer Ed Solomon, and while he was working on the script, casting was underway!

The movie ended up starring Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, and Dennis Hopper as Koopa. But, there was a list of other actors that the producers went after that would have made the movie even crazier.

Danny DeVito was offered the role of Mario along with the director’s chair if he wanted it. They had discussions with DeVito, but he eventually ended up passing. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Keaton were both approached to play Koopa, which is wild to think about, but they both said no. Then there was Tom Hanks, who was considered for the role of Luigi, but after a string of recent box-office bombs, they dropped him from consideration. We all know how Hanks’ career turned out.

When comes down to who ended up being cast in the movie, director Rocky Morton explained that it’s “basically about availability. There are all these stories about the way people are cast but it’s normally about availability.”

When talking about casting Hoskins and Leguizamo in the lead roles, Morton said: “We saw lots of different Luigis and John stood out because of his comic timing, his ability to be real but also be funny at the same time. Bob had that ability too. We wanted it to have a reality to it, especially the relationship, and we wanted it to be funny but not just a series of gags.”

I enjoyed Hoskins and Leguizamo in the movie, but it would have been a very different kind of movie had any one of these other alternate actors ended up in the movie. It’s fun to imagine them in those roles, though!

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The Original SUPER MARIO BROS. Movie Looked at Casting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito — GeekTyrant