Almost thirty years after Super Mario Bros. (1993) hit cinemas, we still can't enough of the strange stories that continue to emerge about its prolonged development. And, luckily, for us, there exists a Twitter account/website called SMB Movie Archive, which continues to celebrate and document this weird and wonderful history in all its glory.
On Twitter, it is constantly posting materials and facts about the film, and engaging in conversation with fans of the critically-panned feature. And recently it caught our eye once again, thanks to reposting an old casting memo for the film, which revealed some interesting insights about the Hollywood stars who were at one stage considered to play the Mario Brothers.
The list of names notably reveals that Keanu Reeves was considered for the part of Luigi, but also mentions Christian Slater, Tom Hanks, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Kline, and John Turturro. Reeves even gets a mention in the margin, which seems to suggest he was one of the favourites in the running for the role.
For Mario, meanwhile, the Batman and Beetlejuice actor Michael Keaton was considered for the part, as well as Kevin Kline (again), Nicholas Cage, John Turturro (again), Bruno Kirby, and Joe Mantegna.
Of course, as we know now, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo (who are also listed) ultimately won the roles, but it's fascinating to think about what could have been. It's also interesting, as the Twitter user CynfulEntity highlights, to see that Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo seemingly weren't considered to be potential co-stars on this list. Instead, Hoskins was thought of as the 'Mario' to John Turturro or Kevin Kline's 'Luigi', while Leguizamo was considered as a potential 'Luigi' for Joe Mantegna, Kevin Kline, or Turturro's 'Mario.
News about the casting of the film has been coming out ever since before it was released in theatres (as evidenced by this 1992 Los Angeles Times piece which claims Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Keaton were also considered for the role of Koopa). But we must admit, the information included in this casting memo was total news to us! Did you know about any of the above? Let us know in the comments!