Super Mario Bros. director wanted Danny DeVito as Mario, original script was darker

At least we got Dennis Hopper channeling his Blue Velvet performance

At this point we all know the Super Mario Bros. film was a disaster. But learning just how that magnificent implosion took place bit by bit over the years is fascinating. For one, famed character actor Bob Hoskins was not the first choice for Mario Mario.

Director Rocky Morton speaking to SciFiNow recounts that originally Danny DeVito, their first choice, “turned [them] down.” He notes “it was basically about availability,” and that “Bob was available.” Hoskins ended up publicly sharing his extreme disgust for the film.

No doubt in part because the original script wasn’t supposed to be such a “broad comedy.” Instead it was going to be more of a “family film that appealed to adults,” with a more “sophisticated” touch. But as always Hollywood is going to Hollywood, and since money got in the way the concept was rejected for being “too dark,” and the new script was penned in a week and a half. Morton recounts how him and co-director Annabel Jankel “almost walked off” but decided to make it work.

Which was exacerbated by the fact that Dennis Hooper apparently was “difficult” on set, though given the circumstances (the production team didn’t have full sets to shoot with, so they had Hopper stand in certain areas to accommodate and changed scenes on the fly), he seems to have had a reason. Even after being six years removed from playing one of the biggest (NSFW) sociopaths to ever grace the screen, I’d be a little unhinged, too.

Super Mario Bros.’s Rocky Morton [SciFiNow]

Chris Carter
EIC, Reviews Director - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!