Bob Hoskins didn't know that the film he was making was based on a game, until his son asked him what he was working on. When Hoskins mentioned the film's title, his son immediately recognized it and showed Hoskins the game on his own Nintendo.
Although Bob Hoskins said that this is the worst film he ever made, his son Jack Hoskins is a fan of this film, praising his dad's performance. He said that he was too young to understand the bad reviews and now that he's old enough, he doesn't care. He quoted on the film's fan website "SMBArchive.com": "If there's anyone reading this, please understand that it's no one's intention to ruin the classics. One last thing; if you remember your past enjoyments, then it would definitely keep your childhood memories alive and safely locked in your head forever."
In his 2007 autobiography John Leguizamo states he and Bob Hoskins hated working on the film and would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience. Both men apparently knew the movie would turn out bad, so they simply tried to make the best of it. He also stated he felt one of the biggest reasons the movie turned out the way it did was because the directors wanted a more "adult" movie while the studio, considering the source material, was looking for a children's film.
After the film bombed at the Box Office. Nintendo never produced any more live-action theatrical films based on their video game franchises. A "Metroid" film was put into development, but never fell through.
Various items from the video games appear, in at least name, throughout the film. These include Bob-ombs (a deceptively tiny wind-up bomb in the film), Thwomps (Thwomp Stompers are oversize footwear), Koopahari Desert (most of the world is this desert), Yoshi (a baby T. rex), Goombas (transformed citizens), Big Bertha (the woman who steals the pendant and that Mario dance with later on), and Bullet Bills (a cartridge with a face used to power the Thwomp Stomper boots), mention of Fry Guy(a poster on the wall when the woman checks in the plumbers tool belts at the bar), and on the projector screens in the boom boom bar there is a graphic of Bowser's hideout from Super Mario World game being bounced around.
Peter Levy was the original director of photography, but was fired after the directors and producer were unhappy with his work. Dean Semler was called in to replace him, and within less than a week of joining, Semler contacted Levy and said that he regretted signing onto the movie.
None of the enemies in the film ever refer to Mario and Luigi by their first names. They only refer to them as "Plumbers, Mammals, and Monkeys." The only exception is the desk sergeant, who refers to them as "Marios" and "Mario Brothers."
The script called for a finale in which Mario would scale the Brooklyn bridge and drop a Bob-omb down King Koopa's throat. However with production over schedule and over budget the idea had to be scrapped.