July 13, 2011 1:00 AM | Matthew Hawkins
The previously mentioned Super Mario Bros: The Movie Archive has uncovered yet another artifact related to their obsession: four early drafts for the film, one of which is quite the departure from what we'd see on the big screen. This alternate take could be considered the original vision, one that's similar in feel to The Princess Bride and even Shrek.
Much like the final product, Mario is the reluctant hero, and it's Luigi who has the hots for the girl in peril (renamed Princess Hildy for whatever reason), but that's where the similarities end. The Mushroom Kingdom that's laid out is a combination of Wizard of Oz and Alice In Wonderland, with many staples from the games accounted for, from the Hammer Brothers to Thwomps. Even the raccoon leaf can be found! Perhaps most noteworthy of all is Koopa, who's "an actual green lizard king this time and not just Dennis Hopper with a weird haircut."
But after the departure of the original director, the new husband and wife team decided to take thing into a different direction. The initial "Ghostbusters-influenced" science fiction/comedic affair laid much of the initial groundwork that would last, which was tweaked in the less funny and more action oriented "Die Hard-inspired" third draft that was supposedly going to feature a cameo by Bruce Willis (or a look-a-like at least). After that was the "Mad Max-inspired" script that tightened elements further, plus also featured "Mad Max-style death races in the desert and rampant sex and drug-use between Koopa and his ambitious secretary Lena." Which unfortunately was also left by the wayside.