This exremely rare Promotion Guide was given out to theaters in preparation for the film's release. There's a ton of great info in there about how Disney wished for the film to be marketed and what kinds of promo items were available at the time.
PRESS KIT - Booklet Information
The world's most popular video game gives birth to an exciting new live-action adventure movie: "Super Mario Bros." In the great tradition of comic book superheroes-come-to-life, the Mario brothers -- two ordinary plumbers from Brooklyn: Mario (BOB HOSKINS) and Luigi (JOHN LEGUIZAMO) -- enter another world where they battle eight-foot-tall Goombas, deadly fireballs, a diabolical lizard king and the ultimate penalty of de-evolution, in order to save a princess named Daisy (SAMANTHA MATHIS).
Created eons ago when a giant meteorite crashed to Earth and ripped the dinosaurs' domain from our own, the fantastic world that the Mario brothers enter has remained hidden from the universe. Now, as their water supply is rapidly running out, the reptile inhabitants are doomed to extinction unless their crazed leader, King Koopa (DENNIS HOPPER), can get hold of a mysterious pendant that the princess wears around her neck, and use its unique properties to merge his world with ours, in Hollywood Pictures' new action/adventure, “Super Mario Bros.”
Hollywood Pictures presents a Lightmotive/Allied Filmmakers presentation in association with Cinergi Productions. "Super Mario Bros." is directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel from a screenplay written by Parker Bennett & Terry Runte and Ed Solomon. Jake Eberts and Roland Joffe are the producers. Fred Caruso is the co-producer. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.
Producer Roland Joffe was in Paris, preparing to produce and direct his sweeping drama "City of Joy," when he first became hooked on the creative challenge of turning the "Super Mario Bros. "™ video game into a motion picture action/ adventure.
"My son kept playing Nintendo in the apartment, so I was endlessly watching this game from the corner of my eye," says Joffe, director of the Academy Award-nominated films "The Mission" and "The Killing Fields." "It began to seem like a very creative thing to try to bring these cultural icons to life and dramatize the imaginary world of their adventures."
Producer Jake Eberts, Joffe's partner on "City of Joy" and "The Killing Fields," was equally intrigued with the idea, having watched all three of his children play Nintendo "until it was ringing in my ears," he says. "Roland and I both felt it would be a very interesting departure from our previous work to do something directed at a family audience," says Eberts, who has played a key role in financing such award-winning films as "Dances With Wolves," "Gandhi," and "Driving Miss Daisy."
The phenomenal popularity of the "Super Mario Bros." video games had already led to two very successful animated television shows. When Nintendo made movie rights available, Joffe and Eberts were among many high-powered competitors who headed for Nintendo headquarters in Seattle, Washington, to bid on the property.
"The reason we were able to outbid the heavyweight competition was that we focused our pitch on the story we would tell, rather than the potential stars of the film," says Eberts.
"We talked about the relationship between the Mario brothers, and said that there would be reality and fantasy woven together, with an element of sophistication," says Joffe. "We saw it as tremendous fun, and I think that's what Nintendo responded to."
Joffe then visited Kyoto, Japan, where Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto oversaw the creation of Mario as a character in the game "Donkey Kong" in 1980, and in all subsequent "Super Mario Bros. "™ video games. "I wanted to find out what goes on in the imaginations of the games' creators," says Joffe. "I learned that they are blending elements of traditional Japanese legend with their own peculiar view of a mythic America. I decided that the people we should look to as our creative partners should be individuals who could respond to that mix in a very imaginative way, turning it into something exciting and full of contrasts, but with a basis in reality."
The search for a directorial vision led the producers to the team of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, creators of the trend-setting computer-generated "Max Headroom" television series. From Morton & Jankel the concept of a world evolved from dinosaurs sprang forth.
"We read an early draft of the script in which the Koopa character was kind of a reptilian, dragon-like figure," says Annabel Jankel. "Rocky and I started thinking in terms of an entire world with a reptile point of view, dominated by regressive, primordial behavior driven by the most basic instincts of survival."
"It became a contemporary fairy tale to explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs," says Morton. "And it makes a comment on our own world in the way that all comic book societies do."
The directors collaborated with the writing team and quickly created a story outline which became a new draft. "It was great fun dreaming up this crazy, inside-out New York full of aggressive, reptilian characters, and conceiving gadgets like Thwomp-Stompers, de-evolution devices, and visual images like the Statue of Repression," says Jankel. "We also enjoyed coming up with the comic interplay between the Mario brothers, and expanding the cast of characters to include the eccentric Koopa cousins Spike and Iggy."
Thematically, the directors took their cue from the "Super Mario Bros."™ video game, and working backwards they created a story that would justify all of the game's elements, which in effect made the movie a prequel to the game. Rocky and Annabel describe "Super Mario Bros."™ as "a game about always moving forward, facing up to things and trying to achieve your goals. Mario and Luigi learn to overcome the outlandish obstacles in Dinohatten together, to become the true heroes they've always been. Also, their plumbing skills come in handy."
Writer Ed Solomon, one of the later contributors to the script, worked with the actors to tailor the parts to their unique styles. He collaborated with the special effects and stunt coordinators to create stunts that took imaginative advantage of the unique settings.
"My goal was to add energy and life to the characters," says Solomon. "I also worked with writer Ryan Rowe to create an overall conceptual framework in which the story of two real-life plumbers who journey into the fantastical would make sense."
For Morton and Jankel, the award-winning directors of a dazzling lineup of cutting-edge videos, commercials, and computer graphics effects, the "Super Mario Bros." project seemed tailor-made. "It brings together special effects, visual effects, animatronics and wild and wonderful sets," says Morton. "The challenge has been to use all those things to tell a story, and not let them take over or get in the way too much."
Finding an actor to play the most popular video character in the world was no problem at all for the British-born directors. "Bob Hoskins was always our number one choice, and we were so happy when he agreed to do this film," says Morton of his constantly working countryman, who has starred in such acclaimed and diverse films as "The Long Good Friday" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." "He's a superman because he's an Everyman. It's his ordinariness that makes him a hero," says Morton.
Up-and-comer John Leguizamo was cast as Luigi after the directors watched a performances of his one-man show "Spic-0- Rama," the follow-up to his Obie Award-winning off-Broadway performance piece, "Mambo Mouth." "He is fantastically funny and inventive, and a perfect balance to Bob Hoskins," Morton says.
For the role of Daisy, "we wanted a princess, but one with guts and a sense of humor," says Jankel. Samantha Mathis, already turning heads in "Pump Up the Volume" and in Nora Ephron's comedy "This Is My Life," was the perfect choice.
As other major casting came together -- Dennis Hopper as the comical but menacing Koopa, London stage star Fiona Shaw as the archetypal villainess, Fisher Stevens and Richard Edson as Koopa's bumbling servants and Dana Kaminski as Mario's girlfriend, Daniella -- the next step was to find a location in which to construct the film's elaborate fantasy world.
The search for a set location with experienced crews led the producers to Wilmington, North Carolina, a burgeoning film center where they originally planned to utilize the soundstages of the busy Carolco Studios facility. But while scouting nearby locations, they stumbled upon an enormous abandoned factory, the former Ideal Cement Co., located on a 91-acre site deep in the North Carolina woods.
The unique characteristics of the mammoth five-story facility, built in 1962 as the largest and most advanced cement-producing factory in the world, came to exert a major influence on the shape and personality of the "Super Mario Bros." film.
"Creativity is transforming what is into what might be," producer Joffe is fond of saying. It was a dictum that defined the Herculean achievements of production designer David Snyder and the art and set design teams as week by week, they transformed the vast, gutted, dust-caked industrial areas into a series of spectacularly creative sets.
A 400-foot long rotary kiln became the excavation site tunnel in which Daisy is kidnapped and the Mario brothers follow her into another world. Two enormous cone-shaped hoppers became the defining shapes in the set for Koopa's de-evolution chamber. The former mill building, with its multi-level system of ramps, conveyor belts and catwalks became the neon-lined site of Koopa Square, the city center and the "Super Mario Bros." principal set, with a subway tunnel, moving traffic, and a three-tiered business street lined with interior/exterior sets.
"We had to incorporate these great industrial structures into the look simply because they were immovable," says Snyder. "And they shaped our city."
As the sets sprang to life, more than one-and-a-half square miles of plywood, 62 miles of lumber and 50 tons of steel were required for their construction.
A machine shop the size of a football field became home to a darkly satirical, crumbling police station in the fictional Dinohattan -- and later, to the Mario brothers' apartment, the meteorite chamber, and the 200-foot-long, eight-feet in diameter ice tunnel, through which Mario escapes from Koopa's tower.
The cement plant also yielded outside locations -- a nearby limestone quarry became the desert in which the Mario brothers are temporarily stranded when they escape Dinohattan. A 20-ton Euclid earth-mover truck, used for hauling sand and clay, became one of Dinohattan's "sludge-gulper" garbage trucks.
Meanwhile, set decorators and sign painters were creating a detailed environment in which the unique culture of the dinodescendants could thrive.
"The idea was to twist the familiar and make it more aggressive and less enlightened, but in a fun kind of way," recalls Snyder. "The citizens of Dinohattan like their society -- they like driving around like crazy kids in bumper cars, with no traffic lights. It's chaos, and they enjoy it."
Vehicles were merrily bashed up by the special effects team and put on the street, with a band of local bikers hired to drive them. Each was rigged to "run" on electricity -- a joking reminder that the dinosaur world has no petroleum fossil fuel, since the dinosaurs never died.
Costume designer Joseph Porro was responsible for giving the hundreds of extras -- along with the principal cast -- a look that expressed what life in the reptile dimension was all about.
"The city's falling apart and Koopa has added his personal influence to everything, so we wanted people to have a creepy, desperate look," Porro says of the extras. No expense was spared, however, in clothing the ruling villains, Koopa and Lena, who Porro sees as "unfeeling dictators who flaunt their distance from the population."
With the directors favoring a "dark, sensuous look" and shiny, scaly, lizard-like fabrics, Porro's team scoured the globe for suitable materials. Details like spikes, ridges and fangs were then added to the reptilian designs.
"If we were descended from a dinosaur, these are the things we would find beautiful," Porro explains.
As Koopa, Dennis Hopper wears Armani-style suits in draped scaly fabrics. Lena's regal, striking costumes, of materials ranging from silk-velvet to cracked vacuform plastic, were built right onto actress Fiona Shaw to create a "nasty, aggressive silhouette" for the character, with more than 200 hours of couture work going into some of the form-fitted garments.
Younger filmgoers, however, might be more taken with "Super Mario Bros.'" dazzling array of special props, from fireball throwers and de-evolution guns to the flashing, smoking, flying Thwomp-Stomper boots to the 27 different crazy car vehicles designed for the streets of Dinohattan.
Special effects coordinator Paul Lombardi, who heads the venerable Special Effects Unlimited in Hollywood, had a task so big it required five 40-foot trailers full of equipment and two full-time buyers to continue securing supplies, and a team of 35 effects specialists went to work creating the guns, cars, boots and other special props, as well as the ice tunnel, the de-evolution chair and other equipment involved in bringing off a long list of demanding stunts.
Also playing a major role in the production was visual effects designer and supervisor Christopher Woods, whose work included creating the "portal effect" through which characters pass between dimensions -- done with matte shots and digital rotoscoping.
Woods also oversaw the de-evolution of Koopa from man-like lizard to Tyrannosaurus Rex to slime -- and supervised the innovative use of a 3-D matte painted landscape for a shot of the decaying towers of Dinohattan from the perspective of a moving vehicle in the desert.
But of all creative elements of the production, it was the fantastic creatures that most easily won the hearts and imagination of the cast and crew.
The towering, reptile-headed Goombas, Koopa's de-evolved special forces, were originally written as background characters, but proved so popular that the script was revised to expand their role.
The little dinosaur Yoshi, Mario's newest pal in the Nintendo game series, came to life in the form of a cable puppet animated by an orchestra of nine puppeteers -- who became the center of attention as soon as the lovable lizard arrived.
As for the "Super Mario Bros."™ game itself, its influence showed up all over the place -- in the characters, on neon-lit signs all over Koopa Square, in the graffiti on Dinohattan's walls, and in many surprising places. "Our design criteria was to incorporate as many Nintendo game elements as we could into the set," says Snyder, and in fact, there are more than 100 game elements in the film, waiting to be counted by keen-eyed and dedicated fans.
The Goombas are Koopa's huge zombie troops, uniformed in military coats and armed for combat with menacing, flame-throwing guns for holding prisoners hostage and keeping alien plumbers away from Princess Daisy. Yet somehow, nobody hates the enormous, clumsy creatures with the undersized reptilian heads.
"They're seen as the helpless baddies controlled by the evil ruler," says producer Jake Eberts. "The credit goes to the designers and puppeteers at North Hollywood-based Makeup and Effects Lab (M.E.L.), who've pulled off the unusual trick of creating bad guys who are both intimidating and endearing."
"Goombas are a stage in evolution," explains M.E.L. cofounder Allan Apone. "Koopa builds his troops by de-evolving his enemies. They were originally written as background thugs, but from the day they made their debut on the set, everyone wanted them around."
"It's mesmerizing to be inside them and see how well people react," enthuses John Fifer, a partner in M.E.L., who inhabits the de-evolved character Toad, the smiling Goomba who falls in love with Daisy.
Originally written as a creature with a screen life of about 30 seconds -- from the time rebellious folksinger Toad (Mojo Nixon) was de-evolved into a Goomba until he was further de-evolved into primordial slime -- this character proved such a hit on the set that his life was saved, and his part was expanded for the rest of the movie. He even holds onto the rebellious streak that got his evolved self into trouble in the first place.
With their lifelike, fully mobile faces animated by cable and radio controls, the Goombas were a major undertaking for M.E.L., which had only 10 weeks to build 10 fully mechanical creatures and five additional "background" puppets.
Working from drawings supplied by designer Patrick Tatopoulous, M.E.L. came up with three basic Goomba types -- a humanoid, a snake and a lizard.
Rigs to be mounted on the puppeteers' shoulders were built around a backpack system designed for Vietnam Marine combat. The Goomba heads and faces were sculpted in foam latex.
A team of particularly tall actors was cast, along with Fifer and Apone, to inhabit the creatures. Outfitted in full-length military-style wool coats, padded arms and metallic boots, the hulking, eight-foot Goombas brought out a parade-route of curious onlookers from the cast and crew the day they made their first full-dress appearance on the set.
"The Goombas were really born that day. They became living, reacting creatures," says Fifer. "Everyone still talks up to their heads, instead of talking to us at chest level -even the directors. They feel they're involved with a real character."
There was more "Super Mario Bros." magic to come when the pet of Koopa's reptile kingdom, a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex named Yoshi, arrived on the North Carolina set in mid-Summer. Modeled after Mario's little dinosaur pal in the video game "Super Mario World," Yoshi seemed to have a life and spirit of his own once set in motion.
"I think it's safe to say he is the most fully mechanical character that has ever been created for the movies," says mechanical supervisor Dave Nelson of Animated Engineering.
Created over a period of five months, the grinning lizard is capable of 64 separate movements, including rolling and blinking his lidded eyes, breathing, flaring his nostrils, curling his lips, thrusting his tongue in and out, moving his brows, grasping objects with his tiny hands, stamping his heavy legs up and down, and whipping his tail back and forth.
Like the Goombas, Yoshi proved so magnetic on the set that he was soon appearing in more scenes than originally planned.
Daisy, the young paleontologist, is naturally enchanted to encounter a living dinosaur in Dinohattan, and Yoshi, who is Koopa's pet, becomes her protector and friend.
Working from a design by Patrick Tatopoulous, sculptor Mark Maitre set about creating the robot's understructure.
"The first step was building up an armature, then sculpting it in a natural position so he could flex and stretch realistically," says Maitre. "He stands three and a half feet tall."
Oil-based clay formed the sculpture, from which molds were created out of layers of Ultra-Cal 30 and burlap for making the skin. A crucial step was shaping the cores, or inside pieces, on which the plastic under-shell of the robot is cast. "Everything had to be molded separately, then fit together like a jigsaw puzzle so we could hide the seams," says Maitre.
The molds were then injected with foam latex, which was baked and cured to a spongy texture, then trimmed down and painted for the dinosaur's skin.
To that, Maitre added hand-sculpted teeth and a silicone rubber tongue.
Nelson's 10-man team had 11 weeks to create the mechanics and corresponding controls. The robot's head alone contains 20 separate servo motors -- one each for movements as tiny as a cocked brow or a curled lip.
"These guys are the Michelangelos of the film crew," says producer Roland Joffe. "They alone understand the absolute miracle of movement."
No less than nine puppeteers operate the finished creature -- partly through a thick bundle of 70 cables that are later erased from the screen by visual effects -- and partly by radio control. "After working on the sculpture in the stable condition for so long, I was even amazed myself with the movement," says Maitre.
Currently, "Super Mario Bros."™ is the most popular video game in the world, with more than 82 million copies sold
worldwide. Nintendo games are found in one in three U.S. households, and in the latest U.S. survey, 35 percent of players are over age 18. The latest Mario Bros. game, "Super Mario World," is the fourth designed since the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was introduced in 1985 -- but Mario has been appearing in arcade games, such as "Donkey Kong," since 1981, as well as many games designed for the portable Game Boy.
Already, the game has inspired two highly successful animated Saturday morning television series in the U.S., the "Super Mario Bros. Super Show," which attracted as many as 7.1 million viewers per week, and "Super Mario Bros. 3," a Saturday morning show that recently drew a 13 percent share (2.9 million households).
Available on the U.S. market since 1985, Nintendo game systems and "Super Mario Bros."™ games are currently enjoying their strongest sales growth in Western Europe and South America, and are also extremely popular in Japan, where they have the greatest penetration of any country, exceeding 40 percent of households.
"You absolutely don't have to be a player of the game to enjoy the movie," says producer Eberts, "but playing the game will make you more familiar with some of the intriguing sources of the movie elements."
"We're actually trying to create a symbiosis between the game and the movie," says Joffe. "We'd like to see elements of the film showing up in future games, while elements of the new games, perhaps, would show up in future films."
BOB HOSKINS (Mario) grew up in North London, and became an actor quite unexpectedly. While accompanying a friend who was auditioning at London's Unity Theatre, the director handed Hoskins a script. He read for the part and was given the lead. That evening was the beginning of his career as one of Britain's busiest actors.
Touring with road shows, in tents and pubs, eventually led Hoskins to a career in the theater that has spanned two decades, with performances in a range of productions from "Pygmalion" to "True West," "Guys and Dolls" and "The Iceman Cometh" at such venues as The Royal Court, the National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
In films, Hoskins made his mark as the ambitious gangland kingpin Harold Shand in John Mackenzie's "The Long Good Friday" (1982), winning a nomination for best actor from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts. He began working nearly nonstop, appearing in such features as "The Cotton Club," "Brazil," "Sweet Liberty," "A Prayer for the Dying," "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearn" and "Mona Lisa," for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best actor.
Hoskins delighted audiences worldwide in the 1988 smash hit "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," in which he played a hard-boiled 1940s detective opposite an animated cartoon rabbit. He more recently appeared as Smee, an aide-de-camp to Captain Hook in Steven Spielberg's "Hook," with Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams and Julia Roberts, and he also starred in the comedies "Heart Condition," "Mermaids" and "Passed Away."
JOHN LEGUIZAMO (Luigi) was born in Bogota, Colombia but moved to New York at age 5. Brought up in Queens, New York, he gave his first performance over the conductor's p.a. on the Queensborough subway line. A counselor recommended he channel his energy into the theater, and Leguizamo got hooked on acting.
While studying in New York University's prestigious drama program, he appeared in the award-winning student film "Five Out of Six," which led to his first television role on "Miami Vice."
Meanwhile he was developing his stagecraft at Joe Pap's Public Theater in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "La Pura Vida."
His keen observation of the Hispanic street characters he grew up with led him to write and star at age 26 in the one-man show "Mambo Mouth," a hilarious, kaleidoscopic look at Latino stereotypes that ran off-Broadway for 35 weeks and won a 1991 Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award. "Mambo Mouth" aired on HBO in fall 1991.
Leguizamo then developed a second one-man show, "Spiced- Rama," which opened to rave reviews and a sold-out run at Chicago's Goodman Theater, and which will air this spring on HBO.
Leguizamo appeared as the Soho artist Fast Johnny C in the erotic thriller "Whispers In the Dark," with Annabella Sciorra, Alan Alda and Anthony LaPaglia.
His other film credits include "Hangin' With the Homeboys," "Casualties of War," "Regarding Henry" and "Revenge." He is currently filming Brian DePalma's "Carlitos' Way," with Al Pacino and Sean Penn.
DENNIS HOPPER (Koopa) has been an important part of the international film scene since the 1950s, when he appeared with James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant."
In 1969, he helped break open the doors of Hollywood for younger filmmakers with the counterculture classic "Easy Rider," a critical and commercial smash that won Hopper a Best New Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay, penned by Hopper with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern.
Appearing during the 1970s in such highly regarded films as Wim Wenders' "The American Friend" and Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," Hopper re-emerged as a leading actor in 1985 in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet." He went on to an acclaimed performance in Tim Hunters' "River's Edge," then appeared in "Hoosiers" as a basketball coach, a role that brought him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
Hopper followed that with a memorable performance as the title character in the Southern crime drama "Paris Trout" for Showtime, winning nominations for both the Emmy Award and ACE Award.
His career as a film director has included the acclaimed urban gang drama "Colors," starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall; "Backtrack," which he directed and starred in with Jodie Foster and Dean Stockwell; and "The Hot Spot," also starring Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen. Hopper is also a noted photographer and artist.
SAMANTHA MATHIS (Daisy) received wide acclaim for her role in the feature film "Pump Up the Volume," opposite Christian Slater. She also portrayed Kulie Kavner's awkward, adolescent daughter in Nora Ephron's comedy "This is My Life," and starred as the voice of Crystal, a fairy in the animated feature film "Fern Gully... The Last Rain Forest." She next stars opposite River Phoenix and Dermot Mulroney in Peter Bogdanovich's country-western love story, "The Thing Called Love," and appears this year in "The Music of Chance," with James Spader.
Born in New York, Mathis moved to Los Angeles with her mother, actress Bibi Besch when she was six. She began her professional acting career at age 16 and went on to co-star in the NBC television series "Aaron's Way" and the series "Knightwatch" for ABC. She also appeared with Faye Dunaway in the TNT movie "Cold Sassy Tree."
FIONA SHAW (Lena) became a star member of London's Royal Shakespeare Company before taking her first film role.
In "My Left Foot" the actress won acclaim for her portrayal of the doctor who inspires the love of paraplegic Christy Brown, and in "Mountains of the Moon," she played the wife of famed explorer Sir Richard Burton. She expanded her comedy skills as the rambunctious headmistress of Pileforth Academy in Touchstone Pictures' "Three Men and a Little Lady."
Raised on the outskirts of Cork, Ireland, Shaw took a degree in philosophy at the university there, and moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating with the Bancroft Gold Medal.
In 1985 Shaw joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where her performance as Celia in "As You Like It," Portia in "The Merchant of Venice," Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew" established her prominence.
In April 1990 she won the Olivier Award as best actress in three different classics, including the title role in Sophocles' "Electra," performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company; Rosalind in Shakespeare's "As You Like It," staged at the Old Vic; and the dual role of Shen Te/Shui Ta in Bertolt Brecht's "The Good Person of Seschwan," which she performed at the Royal National Theater. The latter performance also earned the actress the 1990 London Critics Award as best actress.
FISHER STEVENS (Iggy) literally grew up in the theater, as his mother rented out their Manhattan loft to an acting school that built a stage in their living room.
He began performing in off-off-Broadway plays at 14, then moved on to the role of David, Harvey Fierstein's adopted son in the Tony Award-winning play "Torch Song Trilogy," which eventually brought Stevens to Broadway.
Mr. Stevens then starred on Broadway in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs." He also founded the New York theater company, "Naked Angels," with a group of other actors, and is currently co-artistic director, appearing in productions such as "Amen' U Boys" and occasionally directing. Stevens also starred in "Twelfth Night" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Joseph Pap's New York Shakespeare Festival, and he co-starred in the Los Angeles Theater Center's production of "Veing & Thumbtacks."
Stevens' feature film credits include the teen comedy "Mystery Date," "The Marrying Man," "Reversal of Fortune," "Bloodhounds of Broadway" and "The Brother From Another Planet."
He starred in "Short Circuit" and "Short Circuit II" as Ben avari, an Indian scientist who becomes the spiritual guide to the film's human-like robot hero.
RICHARD EDSON (Spike) was a drummer and trumpet player in New York City when he was cast by his friend Jim Jarmusch as Eddie, one of three main characters in the independent filmmaker's first feature "Stranger Than Paradise."
From that auspicious debut, the actor has appeared in more than 16 films including Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," in which he played Vito; Oliver Stone's "Platoon," Barry Levinson's "Good Morning, Vietnam," John Hughes' "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and Mike Binder's "Crossing the Bridge." He plays the title role in Steven Starr's critically acclaimed "Joey Breaker," as Joey, the tunnel-visioned talent agent who comes to learn that there is more to life than ambition. Edson will also appear in Gramercy's "Posse" this spring.
He also appeared regularly as the ex-prize fighter Wilmer Slade on the NBC series "Shannon's Deal," created by John Sales.
DANA KAMINSKI (Daniella) won critical acclaim for her guest appearance as Burt Reynold's kooky secretary on the ABC series "B. Stryker" which led to her being cast as a regular on that show, with billing second only to Burt's. Similarly, a one-day call on the daytime drama "As the world Turns," which also was her very first audition, turned into a year-long leading role. Her feature film credits include a supporting role in Penny Marshall's "Big" and an upcoming role in the Michael Tolkin film "New Age," starring Peter Weller.
MOJO NIXON (Toad) previously appeared as Jerry Lee Lewis' drummer in Jim McBride's "Great Balls of Fire," and in "Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever," the sequel to the cult comedy classic "Rock 'n' Roll High School."
A rock musician with a dedicated following, Nixon has recorded seven albums, including last year's Horney Holidays, an innovative collection of Christmas songs on his own Triple Nixxxon record label. His other recording projects during the past year include The Pleasure Barons' Live in Las Vegas, featuring Mojo and released by Hightone Records, as well as singles with The World Famous Bluejays and The New Duncan Imperials. Mojo has also produced records for Fish Karma and One Foot in the Grave (on Triple Nixxxon).
In addition, he was the guest host of USA Network's popular weekend show "Up All Night."
ROCKY MORTON & ANNABEL JANKEL (Directors) have been a team since the early 1970s, when they met as art students in England and began using animation and computer graphics to create videos for musicians such as Elvis Costello and Donald Fagen. They were asked by Britain's innovative Channel 4 to design and direct a pop video show, which led them to create the computer-generated character Max Headroom, who became a pop sensation, leading them to direct the one-hour film "Max Headroom -- The Original Story," for Channel 4 and for HBO in the U.S.
The pair have also directed highly creative and award-winning commercials for such clients as Coca-Cola, Pirelli, IBM and General Motors, which commissioned a 12-minute commercial from the team. They won an Emmy Award for their title sequence for NBC's "Friday Night Videos," and a Creative Circle Award for their titles for "Tube."
Morton & Jankel's music videos for artists such as Miles Davis, Talking Heads and George Harrison are seen throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan. They are also authors of the seminal art book Creative Computer Graphics, published in 1984 by Cambridge University Press.
In 1987 Morton & Jankel directed Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan in "D.O.A.," a suspense thriller for Touchstone Pictures, inspired by the 1949 film noir classic.
They have two children, Jackson and Rhedd.
JAKE EBERTS (Producer) was born in Montreal, and educated at McGill University and Harvard Business School. After working on Wall Street, he joined Oppenheimer & Co. Ltd., in London, becoming managing director in 1976. Eberts entered the film industry in 1974 when he arranged the development financing and, in 1976, the production financing for Martin Rosen's "Watership Down." In 1977 Eberts founded and became chief executive of Goldcrest Films.
From 1977-1983, Goldcrest grew into one of the most successful independent production companies in the industry, financing development, production or distribution of a large number of significant critical and commercial success, including "Escape From New York," "The Howling," "Chariots of Fire," "Local Hero," "Gandhi," "The Killing Fields" and "The Dresser." Four of these films were nominated for 30 Academy Awards, winning 15, including two for best picture ("Chariots of Fire" and "Gandhi"). Goldcrest also produced more than 75 hours of television programming.
Since founding Allied Filmmakers in 1985, Eberts has been the executive producer of "The Name of the Rose," "Hope and Glory," "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Dances With Wolves." Four of these films were nominated for a total of 30 Academy Awards, winning 11, including two for best picture ("Driving Miss Daisy" and "Dances With Wolves").
Eberts was also executive producer of "Black Robe," directed by Bruce Beresford; and "A River Runs Through It," directed by Robert Redford.
"Super Mario Bros." is the second film produced by ROLAND JOFFE (Producer), after "City of Joy," which he also directed.
Joffe made his motion picture directing debut in 1984 with "The Killing Fields," the story of a relationship between an American and Cambodian journalist in war-torn Southeast Asia. It won three Academy Awards and seven British Academy Awards (the latter including best picture). It also won Italy's Michelangelo Prize and was nominated for a Cesar in France.
Joffe's next film, "The Mission," released in 1986 and starring Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons, won Academy Awards for cinematography and original music, the Palm d'Or Award at Cannes, a British Academy Award for best supporting actor, a Cesar nomination in France and best foreign film award in Poland.
In 1989 Joffe completed "Fat Man and Little Boy," which starred Paul Newman and told the story of the secret development of the atomic bomb during WWII.
In 1991 he shot "City of Joy" on location in Calcutta, India, based upon Dominique LaPierre's best-selling novel.
Born in the London borough of Kensington in 1945, Joffe graduated in English and Drama from Manchester University. With Frank Dunlop, he became one of the founding directors of the Young Vic Theatre, a springboard for some of Britian's best young actors. He next joined Britain's National Theatre, then under the direction of Laurence Olivier, and founded that company's first touring group, the Mobile, before directing a. production of "The Bacchae" at the Old Vic.
Entering television as a trainee director, Joffe worked his way up via the local news program to direct six episodes of Britain's most successful soap opera "Coronation Street," segments of the current affairs program "On the Line," and the documentary film "ANN," before directing "The Stars Look Down," a 13-part series based on A.J. Cronin's best-selling book.
Joffe went on to co-direct the critically acclaimed series "Bill Brand," and in 1978 he directed "The Spongers," a BBC Play for Today, which earned him the Prix Italia, the New York Film Festival Blue Ribbon, the Prague Film Festival's top award and the British Press Guild Award of 1979.
"No, Mama No" for the BBC, and "United Kingdom" (nominated by BAFTA and the Press Guild as the best film of the year) added to Joffe's creative reputation. His wide-ranging talent includes directing "Twelfth Night" in Norwegian for the Oslo stage and the restoration classic "'Tis Pity She's a Whore" for the BBC. He also produced a documentary film on Russia, directed by the prize-winning Soviet director Marina Goldovskya.
In 1987, Joffe formed the Los Angeles-based film production company Lightmotive.
FRED CARUSO (Co-Producer) , a native of Newark, New Jersey, was a high school music teacher for seven years before resolving to break into the film industry. His first opportunity came from director Otto Preminger, for whom he composed a tune for the movie "Hurry Sundown." Caruso was the production manager on Francis Coppola's classic "The Godfather," and produced David Lynch's "Blue Velvet." He has worked with director Brian de Palma on four films, including two as coproducer: "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Casualties of War." Caruso was also part of the producing team for "Once Upon a Time in America," "Year of the Dragon," "Network," "The Presidio," "We're No Angels" and others.
PARKER BENNETT & TERRY RUNTE(screenwriters) met at the University of Wisconsin where they founded a college humor magazine. This led to writing for National Lampoon, Omni, and Plavboy, and to copywriting stints at various advertising
agencies. Frustrated doing Froot Loops commercials, they left their jobs to write their first film, the dark comedy "Mystery Date," which was produced by Orion Pictures and starred Ethan Hawke. The Chicago-based team was drawn to "Super Mario Bros." by the chance to do "a big action movie that was more fun and offbeat." They were also fans of directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel from their work in commercials, and of producer Roland Joffe, "who gave us a lot of creative leeway to make this something fun and hip and new."
ED SOLOMON (Screenwriter) has written several original screenplays and has served as script doctor on several others. His produced scripts include the hit teen comedies "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and the sequel, "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter; as well as the road adventure "Leaving Normal," which starred Christine Lahti and Meg Tilly. He is a former staff writer for "It's Garry Shandling's Show."
DEAN SEMLER, A.C.S. (Director of Photography) won the Academy Award in 1991 for his cinematography on "Dances With Wolves." He served as director of photography on John Avildsen's stirring South African saga "The Power of one," as well as "Cocktail" and the hit contemporary westerns "City Slickers," "Young Guns" and "Young Guns II." He is currently shooting "The Last Action Hero," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A native of Australia, Mr. Semler won the best cinematography prize at the Australian Film Awards for his work on the highly regarded thriller "Dead Calm." He also shot the cult classics "Road Warrior" and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" for director George Miller. He was second unit director and cameraman on the smash television miniseries "Lonesome Dove" and served in this same capacity on "Son of the Morningstar."
DAVID L. SNYDER (Production Designer) earned an Academy Award nomination for best art direction for his work on Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner." He began his career as the assistant art director on the 50th annual Academy Awards broadcast. After less than a year in television he moved into motion pictures as the assistant art director on Universal's "In God We Trust." He then became principal designer on "The Idolmaker," director Taylor Hackford's feature film debut. He also art directed Douglas Trumbull's "Brainstorm."
Snyder has since been production designer on such notable films as "Racing With the Moon," "The Woman in Red," "My Science Project" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," the film that launched director Tim Burton's career. He also designed the comedy hit "Back to School," starring Rodney Dangerfield.
Most recently, Snyder designed "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," and hip-hop comedy "Class Act" with Kid 'n' Play, and is currently working on "Demolition Man" starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes.
In commercials, he has designed two seasons of Fanta soft drink campaigns for Coca-Cola International using live action/animation techniques with Disney characters. He is a native of New York.
MARK GOLDBLATT, A.C.E. (Editor) has edited a string of high-profile action-adventure and sci-fi pictures, including "Terminator 2," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Goldblatt got his first editing credit on Joe Dante's "Piranha" in 1978, for which he won the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. He subsequently edited the original "Terminator" for director James Cameron, as well as "The Last Boy Scout," "Predator 2," "Nightbreed," "Commando," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "The Howling" and "Rambo: First Blood Part II," among others.
JOSEPH PORRO (Costume Designer) worked in the New York fashion industry as an assistant designer to Halston and to Geoffrey Beene before entering the film industry. He has designed costumes for more than 32 movies, including four starring action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme: "Universal Soldier," "Double Impact," "Lionheart" and "Death Warrant." He has also designed for numerous sci-fi and fantasy films, including "I Come In Peace," "Meet the Applegates," "Near Dark" and "Fright Night II." He is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design.
ALAN SILVESTRI (Composer) attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, before touring with several bands. After writing the music for the television series "CHiPs" in 1977, director Robert Zemeckis hired him to compose the score for "Romancing the Stone." This was followed by the director's blockbuster "Back to the Future."
Mr. Silvestri's musical contributions have graced such recent films as "Death Becomes Her," "The Bodyguard," "FernGully...The Last Rainforest" and "Father of the Bride." In addition, he has composed the scores for "Shattered," "Soapdish," "Back to the Future II & III," "Predator" and its sequel, "The Abyss," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Clan of the Cave Bear," "Outrageous Fortune" and "Young Guns II," among many others.
He resides with his wife and three children in Carmel, California.