Once upon a time, there was a film adaption of the hit video game series, Super Mario Bros., and it was terrible.
The 1993 film – starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper – had a mess of a production and was a critical and financial flop upon release, but did you know that Hoskins wasn’t the first choice to play the famous plumber?
In an interview with Forbes, Cheech Marin, of the popular duo, Cheech and Chong, revealed that he was the original choice to play Mario in the film.
Cheech Marin: I turned down a few video games when they were first starting out. They wanted me to be this character and it turned out the character they were asking me to be was Mario of the Mario Bros.
Tommy Chong: What? Are you kidding?
CM: No. It was because he had this mustache, ya know?
TC: Holy ****! You could have been Mario?
CM: Yeah, for real. They were going to give me a cut of the royalties and everything.
TC: Oh my God! I didn’t know that.
Yes, you read that right. Marin was chosen to play Mario because he had a mustache. With this type of reasoning, it makes one wonder how this movie ever got made in the first place.
However, could you imagine how different this movie might’ve been if Marin had played Mario? Don’t get me wrong, Hoskins was a great actor, but the thought of Marin playing Mario is actually intriguing. Perhaps, if they cast Chong as Luigi instead of Leguizamo, this movie would’ve actually been entertaining.
Cheech and Chong, who are known for being stoners, playing Mario and Luigi and having them roaming the Mushroom Kingdom seems like a perfect fit. It feels like another missed opportunity in Hollywood.