Arnold Schwarzenegger Committed Career Suicide by Nearly Starring in $42M Flop That Was Later Saved by Son-in-Law Chris Pratt 30 Years Later
Arnold Schwarzenegger was having quite the run in the 90s, starring in films such as the Terminator franchise and True Lies. His career was also taking some hits, with some major studio pictures underperforming at the box office. Though the flops didn’t bring him down, Schwarzenegger almost committed career suicide in the same time period.
Schwarzenegger nearly ended his career in the early 90s by considering starring in a film that would rake in a meager $38.9 million at the box office and be listed as one of the worst films ever made. Surprisingly, fate would also have it that the film’s reboot in 2023 would be an extremely successful venture and would star his now son-in-law, Chris Pratt.
Arnold Schwarzenegger almost starred in the colossal 1993 flop Super Mario Bros.Arnold Schwarzenegger was approached to play the evil King Koopa/Bowser in the 1993 live-action film Super Mario Bros. but the Terminator star turned down the role, which would eventually be played by Dennis Hopper. Schwarzenegger’s refusal ended up saving his career as Super Mario Bros. turned out to be a colossal commercial failure that was slammed by critics unanimously.
Super Mario Bros. failed to break even, grossing $38.9 million worldwide over a budget that ranged between $42-48 million. Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, would later tell the Guardian that the film was his worst job and biggest disappointment. He also expressed his interest in going back in time and opting out of the film.
Other popular actors who were approached to star in the film but turned down offers were Michael Keaton, Tom Hanks, and Danny DeVito, with the latter being offered the opportunity to helm the project as well.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son-in-law Chris Pratt plays lead in The Super Mario Bros. MovieWhile opting out of Super Mario Bros. saved Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career from plummeting, his son-in-law, Chris Pratt’s choice to star in the 2023 animated reboot resulted in another feather in his cap. Pratt, best known for his role as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plays the lead character Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Despite the lukewarm response from the critics, the film has grossed around $1.22 million worldwide. The film, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, and Fred Armisen, has broken multiple records, including the biggest worldwide opening for an animated film and the highest-grossing film based on a video game. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is also currently the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the fifth highest-grossing animated film.