Super Mario Bros almost starred Hanks and Schwarzenegger

Hollywood pair dodged a bullet by not appearing in notorious 1993 flop

Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger almost starred in the disastrous big screen adaptation of Nintendo game 'Super Mario Bros'.

A book by writer Jeff Ryan, called 'Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America', details the alternative casting choices.

[Related story: Hollywood's most baffling casting choices]

Mario Bros... Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the Italian-American plumbers (Copyright: Rex)

Hanks, whose career had suffered a brief setback with box office flops 'Joe Versus The Volcano' and 'Bonfire of the Vanities', was initially signed up to play Mario, after the role was turned down by Danny DeVito.

But Hanks was later canned in favour of Bob Hoskins, who had enjoyed recent success with 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'.

Meanwhile, both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Keaton were approached to play King Koopa, the Italian plumbers' adversary in the film, but both passed.

The role instead went to Dennis Hopper.

Both actors, and indeed Hanks, dodged a bullet by not appearing in the film.

It made back just $21 million (£13 million) from its $48 million (£30 million) budget, while Hoskins has been most vocal about his hatred of the project.

“The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers,” he said in an interview with The Guardian in 2007. “It was a f***in' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare.

“It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F***in' nightmare. F***in' idiots.”