In an incredibly interesting piece on the backstory of 1993's Super Mario Brothers movie, Game Informer reveals that Tom Hanks was originally signed to play Mario in the film. And this is one of the biggest mistakes Hollywood has ever made. No one could have more perfectly captured the happy, exuberant energy of the Mario games than Tom Hanks. Imagine all those scenes from Toy Story where he rallied the toys to go save Buzz. Now replace Buzz with The Princess.
"HEY GOLLY GOSH WE GOTTA GO RESCUE THE PRINCESS BOY HOWDY DO!"
You can hear it in your head, can't you?
The Mario Brothers movie's producers felt at the time that Bob Hoskins — the guy who I THINK was on, like, NYPD Blue, maybe? — would be a more marketable star to play Mario. Of course, Tom Hanks would soon star in Sleepless in Seattle and Apollo 13, making him one of the biggest stars in the world.
What a lost opportunity! And not only for the Mario Brotthers movie, but for Hanks himself. Having Mario on his resume would have added a lot to Hanks' future roles. He owuld have known not only how life was like a box of chocolates, but also how it was like other boxes.
"My momma always said life was like a box of question marks. It doesn't
make a lot of sense when you think about it, but if you don't worry about
it too much, something magic might come out."
It's really too bad the Super Mario Brothers movie turned out the way it did. Remember the bouncy, happy images of Super Mario World?
Ha ha! Even that mean ole' Mr. Bullet is havin' a good time!
Now contrast that with the Super Mario Brothers movie, where the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom having his humanity stolen from him when he was turned into a nightmare pile of gloop.
"Kill... me... and then... yourselves... the world has always... been pain..."
But I honestly believe that someday we will see a good viceo game movie. Everyone thought comic book movies had to be silly until X-Men came along and showed prominent dierctors that there might be something worth digging into in these stories. The same thing will happen someday for video games. And while I can't guarentee this defining video game movie will star Tom Hanks, I hope whoever makes it realizes it'll have a much greater chance for success if it DOES star Tom Hanks.
I should be hired by everyone to remake every movie.
What do you think could have saved the Super Mario Brothers movie? Is that a term you've heard before? Pizza burns? Let me know on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!