The Super Mario Bros. movie went through various states of production on its way to theaters, ultimately culminating in a 1993 release. While the finished film's connection to the games is fairly loose, the very first draft of the film, dated 1991, was a comedy-fantasy adventure that had the Mario Bros. warped to a Mushroom Kingdom straight out of Nintendo.
The evil dragon Koopa plans to marry Princess Hildy and obtain the Crown of Invincibility, which will allow him to extend his despotic rule over the Mushroom World. Mario and Luigi, two average plumbers from Brooklyn, are summoned to stop him, and while Mario is cynical and world-weary, Luigi is optimistic and determined to save the princess, who he's fallen in love with. With Toad as their guide and companion, they battle the forces of Koopa and race to his castle to stop the wedding.
The script, along with other pre-production drafts, can be found and read here.
This script contains examples of:
- Adaptation Name Change: In lieu of Peach, Toadstool, or Daisy, the latter of which the finished film used, the princess is named Hildegard, or Hildy for short.
- Briar Patching: Once Koopa has the Crown, his powers make him unstoppable by physical means. Remembering Luigi's tale of the fisherman and the genie, Mario tricks Koopa by saying if he had the Crown he'd make himself gigantic, and Koopa promptly does so. Koopa thinks he plans to make the bridge underneath him collapse and floats to avoid it, but what Mario really wanted was for the Crown to become too small for his head and fall off.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Luigi and Hildy have a mutual version where neither can outright say they love one another.
- Disappeared Dad: Unlike the finished film, which had Daisy's mother die early, Hildy's father dies early on as he smuggles her to our world.
- Disney Villain Death: Just like the games, Koopa meets his end by falling in a pit of lava.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Mario happens on a dinosaur egg, names the hatchling Mario Junior, and shares heartwarming moments before sending him on his way to be with his mother.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: The more hypnotizing chocolates she eats the uglier Hildy gets, and by the time she finishes the box she's essentially a female Koopa.
- Hypnotize the Princess: Knowing Hildy would never willingly agree to marry him and let him have the Crown, Koopa gives her spiked chocolates to hypnotize her into falling in love with him.
- MacGuffin: Koopa plans to marry Hildy and obtain the Crown of Invincibility, which will make him ruler and greatly increase his powers.
- Maybe Ever After: The movie ends with Mario having a meet-cute with a woman implied to be the old hag, now young and beautiful again.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Like in the finished product, Luigi is an optimistic dreamer while Mario is more of a realist.
- Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Mario has a cynical view on love and romance in general after his ex Brenda dumped him for his wedding caterer.
- Taken for Granite: The climax has Koopa turn Luigi to stone; he's freed once Koopa is defeated.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: Mario and Luigi owe the gangster Big Eddie money, which drives them to escape to the Mushroom World.
- True Love's Kiss: An old hag Mario meets was cursed to look that way, and hopes a kiss of love from a handsome man will free her. It doesn't work initially as his heart is too cold, but by the time the movie ends and he's regained belief in love, a woman heavily implied to be her shows up to romance him.