When people lament the quality of video game movies en masse, they point to one example above others. The Super Mario Bros. movie met with sour reviews and meager box office returns in 1993; what’s more, it hasn’t exactly accrued esteem—barely even what you’d call cult favor—in the three decades since. But if nothing else, the movie remains a beacon for impassioned hypotheticals. What would a good Super Mario movie look like? How about if things had just gone a bit differently on the set? What if, dare we wonder, the film was just a little longer? We’ve got the answer to that one, in any case.
Buena Vista Pictures
As we learned from GameSpot, an extended cut of Super Mario Bros. has existed for years; directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel completed this version before the ultimate draft found its way to theaters. This is not at all unusual, nor is the nigh oblivion to which this longer edit has been fated. But given the reputation of the movie in question, this never-seen version has earned an air of intrigue. So much so that a cabal of fans has devoted itself to restoring and releasing the so-called Morton-Jankel Cut*. And their toils have proved fruitful; members of the Super Mario Bros. Archive community and restorationist Garrett Gilchrist have indeed reproduced the extended edit of the ’93 Super Mario Bros, and you can watch it right here.
*A moniker created by the fans behind the endeavor; neither director has formally signed off on the project to date.
Among the amendments to this version, you’ll find multiple extended scenes as well as some entirely new sequences. (Including, as GameSpot’s interview with the aforementioned Gilchrist highlights, a rap.) The final product clocks in at 124 minutes long, a full 20 minutes longer than the formal cut. When you get a spare two hours, check it out and see if it revamps the reputation of the Super Mario Bros. production. Maybe this is the Mario film we’ve been longing for all these years.