Starring Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as Koopa, it’s considered a terribly conceived adaptation that reimagines the cute and cuddly game series as a hellish cyberpunk dystopia. The stories of its production have become legendary, from the stars spending the shoot getting extremely drunk together, renegade directorial team Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel going way off-piste and Nintendo finding the whole experience so off-putting that they abandoned Hollywood for decades.
However, the oddball movie isn’t without its fans, and today sees the release of Super Mario Bros: The Morton Jankel Cut, which is 20 minutes longer and restores several previously deleted scenes. Now, viewers can enjoy watching Mario and Luigi competing with a rival plumbing company, Koopa drowning one of his henchmen in slime and a newly extended rap sequence. In addition, most existing scenes have been expanded and lengthened.
The fresh footage comes from a rough cut of the movie discovered on an old VHS tape. The video quality was abysmal, but after a painstaking process to remove dirt, reduce noise and correctly color grade it, it’s ended up looking surprisingly good. Whether all that effort is worth it is another matter entirely, but it’s always nice to see alternative versions of films – even bad ones.
In the meantime, Nintendo is finally having a fresh stab at bringing the Super Mario Bros. to the big screen. The as-yet-unveiled project should hit theaters next year, though we don’t have any firm information on who’ll be in it and what it’ll consist of. But there’s a big Nintendo Direct scheduled for June 15th, so maybe we’ll get a hint there.