Viral Tiktok Puts Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, And It’s-A F-ing Great

Mario speeding teary eyed on Bullet Bill in The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Tom Cruise taking an angry phone call in Tropic Thunder, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Universal/Paramount)

Speed runs of the various games that inspired 2023’s new movie release The Super Mario Bros. Movie have answered all sorts of questions that pop up over the years. One that may or may not have come up in those runs is the quickest way to return Princess Peach to her stately castle, where Toad, Mario and Luigi await. Well, a viral meme may have found the latest, and best, answer to that question: hire Tropic Thunder’s Les Grossman to negotiate with Baby Bowser.

Thanks to TikTok user “Jonkari P,” we now have an idea of what that situation would look like, and it’s-a f’n great. Tom Cruise’s infamous hard case can be seen, with co-star Matthew McConaughey playing the Luigi to his Mario, in the clip shared below: 


♬ original sound - Jonkari P

Admittedly, this new clip isn’t the previously teased Les Grossman spinoff, an idea that’s “fixated” Cruise and frequent collaborator Christopher McQuarrie. Rather, this is an edited moment from Tropic Thunder, in which Grossman lights into the representatives of the Flaming Dragon faction that holds Ben Stiller’s Tugg Speedman hostage in the film. That being said, it’s a better fit than you’d expect.

Bowser, coincidentally played in The Super Mario Bros. Movie cast by fellow Tropic Thunder star Jack Black, is pretty much a flaming dragon-adjacent creature, and by association, so are his children and other incarnations. Fictitious biology lesson aside, that’s not enough to stop this Tom Cruise-invented character from striking the fear of Nintendo into Bowser Jr. This, in turn, leads to Princess Peach being shot back home through the power of a canon.

The actual casting of Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario led to an understandable backlash, and it’s a serious subject that can and will be discussed as we make our way closer to the project’s release. However, a fun hypothetical scenario would be to ponder whether or not that same reaction would have been present if Tom Cruise, in a more PG-rated Les Grossman persona, got the role instead. 

The answer’s more than likely still a yes, because as original Super Mario John Leguizamo pointed out, the lack of ethnically appropriate casting would still be an issue. That serious issue aside, it's admittedly a fun hypothetical we can now enjoy through the power of viral humor.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie presses start on its box office journey on April 7th, only at a theater near you. The Les Grossman spinoff of Tropic Thunder hasn’t been greenlit just yet, but there’s always a chance that this meme could potentially boost the profile of that character to the point where it’d be crazy to say no. Legacy-quels can always appear when you least expect them; just ask anyone who's seen Top Gun: Maverick!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.