Super Mario Bros. (partially lost deleted scenes of Nintendo game based film; 1993)

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Super mario bros ver2.jpg

Theatrical poster.

Status: Partially Lost

Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 action-adventure film, and the first Hollywood adaptation of a video-game. It was distributed by Buena Vista through their Hollywood Pictures division, and produced by Lightmotive and Allied Filmmakers.

The film famously deviated from the Nintendo property it was based on, due to the creative freedom Hiroshi Yamauchi of Nintendo granted producer Roland Joffé. Seeking to create something more"adult" and fun for the whole family, the production changed from a fairly faithful adaptation into a more loosely inspired one. With British filmmakers Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel on board, the tone of the movie became a little too politically satirical and gritty for Buena Vista's taste - resulting in a clash of visions during principal photography.

Throughout production changes were improvised on the fly, and the final product resembled little of what Morton and Jankel envisioned in the first place. Upon release, most contemporary critics wrote off the film off due to the rising concern of how video games were impacting children. As a result, reviews were incredibly polarizing - some praised the performances and visual effects, while others felt it was a hectically paced cash grab. The harshest critics were perhaps Mario fans themselves, who were mostly confused by the end results. However, over time Super Mario Bros. has gained a considerable cult following, with many appreciating the fact that it did take such a unique spin on the games, despite all its flaws.

About the Production/Changes

Ideas for a movie based on the popular Nintendo game, Super Mario Bros., were floating around since May 1991. When LightMotive's head, Roland Joffé, pitched the first draft of the movie to Nintendo, they accepted the deal straight away.

For a while, no one wanted to do the Wizard of Oz version of the screenplay. Desperate to find a director, husband-and-wife directors Rocky and Annabel were brought in to help with the project. They poured all of their ideas in, which gave birth to a second and third draft of the script, both known for their dark settings and character development.

This third screenplay, Mad Max, was known for being very promising and brought production designer David Snyder (of Blade Runner fame) and actors Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper and Fionna Shaw, among many others.

When Disney bought the rights of the film and ordered several changes to the film, ranging from toning down the extremely dark tones to "dumbing down" characters immensely; many other writers were brought in to re-write the screenplay, and by the time production kicked in, they were still working on it.

Production on Super Mario Brothers went through what the movie industry calls "development hell." It took way longer than it should have to film the movie; the directors got in way over their heads and started paying more attention to the special effects than in the actors themselves. After years of struggle, the film was finally finished.

The original running time of the film was of 2 hours and 10 minutes, but to keep it low and to reduce the estimated PG-13 rating, it was cut by 30 minutes, losing many sub-plots, action scenes, and character development in the process.

Deleted Scenes

  • The original dinosaur prologue, which featured realistic footage. After confusion from test screenings, it was replaced with an animated intro narrated by Dan Castellaneta (still lost.)
  • Extra shots of Koopa chasing Daisy's mother in the rain on the intro.
  • The Mario Brothers at the Riverfront Café, where they find Scapelli plumbers, losing their job in the process.
  • An alternate scene of Luigi meeting Daisy in the Riverfront Café. Daisy accidentally breaks all the dishes that were being carried by a waiter, but Luigi steps in and pays for the damages while assuming fault (still lost.)
  • Mario and Luigi preparing for their date, where Luigi admits he's embarrassed to be a plumber, starting off the Family Pride subplot (still lost.)
  • An alternate introduction for King Koopa, where he strangles his campaign advisor (hence him sanitizing his hands in the final film. Still lost.)
  • Mario interacts with a group of Dinohattan prostitutes before getting the rock stolen by Big Bertha (still lost.)
  • An extended confrontation with the mugger lady, who tosses Mario's money away before tasering Luigi.
  • Many scenes involving the Missing Brooklyn Babes, one of them featured in the Making of the Super Mario Bros., where one of the girls offers a cigarette to a Goomba.
  • A longer police station sequence, featuring dogs in Dinohattan, and an extended version of the infamous "Mario Mario" scene. Sergeant Simon gets even more confused over the brothers names!
  • Mario and Luigi discussing Family Pride, again, in the Prison Cell. Mario admits he's been stressed over his promise to their late father, in taking care of Luigi and the business. (still lost.)
  • One of the most notable scenes to be deleted from the film was the scene of a technician getting de-evolved into slime in the Devo Chamber. Originally, Toad was slimed instead of being turned into a Goomba, and his name can still be heard (albeit poorly muted in the editing process) in the scene itself (as it was intended to be dubbed over later.)
  • A whole subplot involving Koopa's slow de-evolution throughout the film. This scene was better explored in earlier drafts of the film.
  • A longer Car Chase scene with a lot more carnage and flying cars.
  • An extended mud bath scene featuring more back and forth dialogue between Koopa and Lena.
  • Iggy and Spike interrupt Daisy and Koopa's meeting, to report on the state of the Mario brothers in the desert.
  • Luigi begs Mario to kill him with a lone rock in the Koopahari desert, taking blame for their situation before discovering Iggy and Spike's crash site.
  • The Mario brothers discuss politics with Iggy and Spike in the sludge gulper.
  • A much longer Boom Boom Bar sequence, with more interaction between the Mario brothers and Koopa cousins. Also many more close-ups of the Go-Go Girls, and Toad's band "The Saurs."
  • Spike and Iggy sing an anti-Koopa rap at the Boom Boom Bar.
  • An alternate version of the fungus trampoline scene in the elevator shaft. Intended to give closure to the Family Pride subplot, where Luigi proclaims he's proud to be a "Mario" (still lost.)
  • Alternate scenes of Lena handing Koopa the rock, only to have him later ditch her for Daisy because she is a Princess.
  • An entire sequence featuring Mario getting chased by Goombas on Koopa's Tower, after Daisy tells him where Daniella is (still lost.)
  • Alternate version of Koopa capturing Luigi and Daisy at Devo 4.
  • An alternate version of Koopa intimidating Luigi and Daisy, announcing it's time for the princess to face her "spatial destiny."
  • After the Goombas break in the room where the Missing Brooklyn Babes were, a Goomba walks up to the pipe entrance, and from there it cuts to the Slide scene.
  • Only referenced on the earlier screenplays, the climax of the film was supposed to be longer and much more complex. It was supposed to include dimensions merging, Goombas getting caught between walls and making them explode, buildings fusing with one another, and facing off with King Koopa on the Brooklyn Bridge in the middle of this chaos. He sets up the Bob-Omb, while Koopa would fully de-evolve into a Tyrannosaurus Rex/Human hybrid, grabbing him by the neck, raising his head and roaring in victory, only to have a Bob-Omb fall in his mouth, blocking his throat, and making him fall off the Bridge, exploding in little bits once as he hit the water. It was allegedly never shot due to budgetary issues.
  • An extended sequence in Brooklyn with the Goombas invading the construction site.
  • A short scene with the Pizza Delivery Boy throwing Koopa's pizza on his slimy remains, giving closure to the infamous pizza subplot.
  • An extended celebration sequence, featuring closure for Spike and Iggy's subplot where they declare it's "time to find a new job."
  • Mario playing a custom pipe saxophone in the film's epilogue (still lost.)[1]
  • Extended post credits scene where the Japanese businessmen decide to name their game "Mario Bros."

Rough Cut Discovery

In May 2019, an eBay user named enjovu listed countless items for sale from the estate of Roland Joffé. Among his catalogue was a VHS tape labelled "Super Mario Bros. Cut Footage 12-1 Version." The tape was acquired by Echoes, a preservationist. After getting into contact with the Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive, the existence of said tape was announced to the public on May 15th, 2019.[2]

The label suggests this specific cut of the film dates back to December 1st, 1992 - as all the digital VFX had not been created yet (besides a single shot of Koopa's eye turning lizard) and a number of late reshoots (such as Lance Henriksen's cameo as King Bowser/Reznor) were absent. Echoes digitized the tape on May 28th, 2019 - the 26th anniversary of the film. Throughout the following year several clips were shared on the SMB Movie Archive's YouTube channel[3], as the team continued to commission several more captures of the tape in order to restore the footage.

Christian Deitering (Mother to Earth producer, SMB Movie prop exhibit coordinator) and Skip Elsheimer (AV Geeks) provided a handful of new captures which were sent forward to filmmaker and editor Garrett Gilchrist. In 2020, Gilchrist began work on restoring the footage frame-by-frame using Photoshop, Remini, and EB Synth. A commentary[4] of his restoration process was published on the SMB Movie YouTube.

On June 1st, 2021 Gilchrist uploaded his extended cut of the film early to Internet Archive, as a response to a low quality reddit leak of Echoes' rip of the tape. Dubbed, "The Morton and Jankel Cut"[5] , the edit was subject to some criticism as some of the creative choices did not reflect Morton and Annabel's vision. Regardless, the technical achievements in independently restoring the low quality VHS footage was positively received. A number of months later, Gilchrist's original upload was removed from the Internet Archive, but third party sources have preserved it with another reupload.

Four months later on October 6th, Umbrella Entertainment released Super Mario Bros. on blu-ray in Australia, featuring the original rough cut as a special feature on the disc[6]. This also marked the first region free blu-ray release of the film.

The following year on September 26th, 2022, Echoes uploaded the raw rip of his original transfer of the tape to Internet Archive[7].


The restoration commentary on all the deleted scenes.
The scene.
The second scene.
The third scene.

See Also

External Links