Jim Carrey


  1. Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live, TV, 1980-1981.       Tested for the The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players in the “so-bad-it’s-horrible” 1980-1981 season – under Jean Doumanian.
  2. Judd Nelson, Making The Grade, 1983.     Filmed in three weeks… says it all. At 25, Carrey was pursued into an LA comedy  club’s  parking lot, where he still refused the lead.  Even a cinematic novitiate like Carrey knew a knock-off Trading Placeswhen offered one. He passed to Nelson which tends to explain their respective careers. End credits announced a sequel. Yeah, sure… 
  3. Adam Baldwin, DC Cab, 1983.       “I auditioned him with 50 others. Like Robin Williams, you can’t shove Jim into a normal movie. It has to become a movie about him and I’ve just never had a role for him since until now,” recalled Joel Schumacher when calling up Jim again – for The Riddler in Batman Forever, 1994.
  4. Tom Hanks, Bachelor Party, 1983.      .   A dirty little  comedy that was as dramatic, behind the camera, as the  heavier 1956 film of the same name. After one week, head Fox Joe Wizan sacked the leads (Paul Reiser and Kelly McGillis) during rehearsals for bad (or no)  chemistry and spent  three weeks  testing new Richies – er, no, now it was Ricky. The queue included Jim Carrey, Howie Mandell, Dean Paul Martin, David Naughton  (An American Werewolf in London) and  Tim Robbins. Not Hanks… He’d previously passed but was called back (for $15,000 a week) after completing Splash – which would make  him a star. McGillis    had the last laugh: Witness, Top Gun and The Accused while  Reiser headed TV’s Mad About You, 1992-1999.  Oh and Bachelor sequel came out… 24 years later. Never met anyone who saw it.

  5. Ralph Macchio, The Karate Kid, 1983.    The surprise hit had been aimed at Nicolas   Cage, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Jon Cryer, Robert Downey Jr, Kyle Eastwood, Anthony Edwards, Crispin Glover, Sean Penn, Eric Stoltz, brothers Emilio Esteves and Charlie Sheen and the Initialers  Michael J Fox, C Thomas Howell,  D B Sweeney. At 22, looking 16.  
  6. William Zabka, The Karate Kid, 1983. Macchio made Daniel LaRusso (ex-Weber) his own in four films and two video-games… and named his son… Daniel. But he had also been asked to be Johnny… The Daniel-san character,  is claimed  by many but  was based on part of the early life of scenarist Robert Mark Kamen.  It’s a great coming-of-age story,” said Macchio And 40 years later, and people still stop him in the street to quote dialogue at him.

  7. Anthony Michael Hall, Sixteen Candles, 1984.       Auditioned for Ted The Geek. Director Stanley Kubrick thought that the Hall-John Hughes chemistry was the “most promising” since James Stewart-Frank Capra. (Nobody’s perfect).
  8. Judd Nelson, Making The Grade, 1984.       Jim passed after casting director Julie Seltzer and Cannon Films’ head of music (later Danny Elfman’s music agent) Richard Kraft went to watch him at an LA comedy club.
  9. Tom Cruise, Top Gun, 1985.  Up for cocky USNavy jet pilot Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – were Kevin Bacon, Scott Baio,  Jim Carrey, John Cusack, Robert Downey Jr, Michael J Fox, Rob Lowe, Matthew Modine (tookn exception to the script’s Cold War politics), Patrick Swayze, Eric Stolz John Travolta (too pricey) and brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.  Too young, at 20, Sheen sent the whole movie up in Hot Shots! 1990. Maverick became one of Cruise’s signature acts – still  took 34 years for a sequel!
  10. Judd Nelson, The Breakfast Club, 1985.   When Emilio Estevez was moved from Bender to the impossible-to-cast lead, teenage angst auteur John Hughes then found Bender difficult to fill, as well. Contenders included Carrey and his (pricey) pal, Nicolas Cage, plus John Cusack (from Hughes’ 1983 debut, Sixteen Candles). Hughes killed all talk of sequels by saying he would never work with Nelson again.

  11. Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986.    Spoken about for Ferris.  As were:  Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Michael J Fox and Eric Stolz.
  12. Kiefer Sutherland, The Lost Boys,1986. Everyone had to play a vampire. But once will do, said Carrey. He had blood-sucked the year before in Once Bitten– the poster is seen in a video store scene. Sutherland went blond for David-  and six years latger his father, Donald, was a  vamp in  Buffy The Vampire Slayer.For a much larger pay-cheque, Schumacher made Carrey his  Riddler in Batman Forever in1994, with a masked Val Kilmer.
  13. Christian Slater, Heathers, 1988.    In the morbidly funny tweenage angst opus, JD could have been Carrey, Jason Bateman, Judd Nelson – or Brad Pitt, who got his revenge two years later by beating Slater to another (but career-making) JD in Thelma and Louise.
  14. Christopher Daniel Barnes, The Little Mermaid, 1989.      Carrey and Matthdw Broderick (who later voiced Simba in The Lion King) were in the Disney frame for Prince Eric. Until the day was won by   ex-kid star – aka Greg in The Brady Bunch movies.  
  15. Dennis Christopher, It, TV, 1989.   Jim was in the It list for the hypochondriac (and mother-ruled) Eddie Kasprack in the 30th of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits.   He created Pennywise because that kids were scared stiff of clowns. The two-parter was originally to have ten episodes, directed by George Romerio. New helmer Tommy Lee Walllace only read the book after the shoot., Too late to save it.  
  16. Robert Downey Jr, Chaplin,1992.    Peter Sellers’ dream role for decades… The studio wanted to play safe: Billy Crystal or Robin Williams.  UK director Richard Attenborough had even more bizzare ideas for his biopic: Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Kevin Kline (he became Douglas Fairbanks Jr). Plus Nick Nolte as the older Charlie. And one Brit only, the West End stage star Anthony Sher. Oh, and inexplicably, Nicolas Cage!!??? The first time she saw Downey dressed up on-set, Geraldine Chaplin (playing her paternal grandmother Hannah Chaplin) was so choked up she could scarcely breathe.
  17. Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park, 1992.   
  18. Robert Downey Jr, Chaplin,1992.  Peter Sellers’ dream role for decades… The studio wanted to play safe: Billy Crystal or Robin Williams.  UK director Richard Attenborough had even more bizzare ideas for his biopic: Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Kevin Kline (he became Douglas Fairbanks Jr). Plus Nick Nolte as the older Charlie. And one Brit only, the West End stage star Anthony Sher. Oh, and inexplicably, Nicolas Cage!!??? The first time she saw Downey dressed up on-set, Geraldine Chaplin (playing her paternal grandmother Hannah Chaplin) was so choked up she could scarcely breathe. 
  19. Tim Allen, Toy Story, 1992.       Pixar’s  hyper-talented shirts (never suits!)  wanted Paul Newman and Carrey – old and new Hollywood – to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear.  Except their budget was too tiny for superstars. The delicious  cartoon was the #1 film of 2005 in the US. 
  20. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.   The guy who accidentally kills Santa (it wasshootinghim, but Disney wasn’t having that) and take over his duties was penned for for Bill Murray. “Not my kind of humour,” he retorted.  Next in line:Allen, Carrey, Rowan Atkinson, Richard Gere, Steve Guttenberg, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams.  Plus eight Batman candidates: Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Mic hael J Fox, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze and the winning Michael  Keaton.

  21. Timothy Daly, Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, 1995.    The idea was to repeat the couple from the surprise Ace Ventura smash. But Tim replaced Jim – his female alter ego was Sean Young. A real woman. She was pregnant.
  22. Robin Williams, Jumanji, 1996.        Robin was reportedly in a snit for letting Jim win The Riddler.
  23. Nathan Lane, The Birdcage, 1996.     The drag queen was first aimed at Jim, then Robin Williams, who preferred, this once, to go low key as Armand.
  24. Mike Myers, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 1996.     When you fancy yourself as a top comic – a new Peter Sellers, even – you do not let a funnier guy into your playpen. And so the Powers creator decided to play the villain, Dr Evil (say: Eeeeevil), as well as the hero.  (One year at the Monte Carlo TV  festival, I ran into the (then wed) Hollywood writers, Wayne and Donna Powers.  They mentioned their son. “Don’t tell.me,” I said. “He’s called…”  “Yes,” they chorused. “Austin!”).
  25. Bill Murray, Kingpin, 1996.        For the Farelley Brothers… But Jim did make their Dumb and Dumber, 1994, and (unfortunately) Me, Myself and Irene, 2000.
  26. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  27. Ben Stiller, There’s Something About Mary, 1997.   Fox did not want Stiller being smitten by the gorgeous Cameron Diaz. So the The Farrellly brothers mused over Carrey, future talk-show superstar Jon Stewart and Owen Wilson for the guy trapping his genitalia in his zipper.  “The frank or the beans?” asks her stepdad.
  28. Eddie Murphy, Holy Man, 1998.    Joe Roth and his Caravan Pictures wanted Jim after his huge Ace Ventura opening in February 1994. So did everyone else.
  29. Ben Stiller, Meet The Parents, 1999.     Carrey and Steven Spielberg, Chapter One.   “Mr S was considering Jim Carrey in the lead role,” recounted scripter Jim Herzfeld. “I met with the two of them, wrote a draft per their notes… figuring if this somehow happened I’d have to quit showbiz because there’s no topping that. But eventually it found its way back to Jay.”
  30. Seth Green, Rat Race, 2001.       Failing to get some $20m stars gave credibility to the desperation of the characters, felt Jerry Zucker. “It doesn’t feel like a cast of people wealthier than you.”

  31. Colin Farrell, Phone Booth, 2001.
    “I just wasn’t in the right space to do that movie.  I’d just come off Me, Myself & Irene and The Grinch That Stole Christmas. I didn’t want to go to a phone both and think about dying.” So he played an amnesiac, blacklisted writer mistaken for a missing man in The Majestic…  After about 30 years of B-pix, directing 18 of them, Larry Cohen moved from B to A List scripter at 58. “I wrote the character of a small-time hustling publicist and patterned him on Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success and even had Tony ready to star but… It took 40 years to get his suspenser made. Alfred Hitchcock wanted it in the ’60s, but neither man could work out why the hero stayed trapped in the titular box. By the ’90s, Cohen found the (all-American) idea of a sniper – threatening to shoot the hero if he left the booth. Director Joel Schumacher talked to Carrey when they made Batman Forever, 1994, then Mel Gibson, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and, finally, the young Irish lad he’d made into a sudden star with Tigerland, 1999. But young film fans with their cell phones, didn’t know from … whaddyer call ’em again… phone booths? Cohen heard them and brought his tale up to date as Cellular for Kim Basinger and Chris Evans in 2003.

  32. Robin Williams, Death To Smoochy, 2001.    Voting for The Majestic, Jim dropped out as Rainbow Rudolph, a kids’ TV star fired in a bribery scandal.
  33. Tim Allen, Joe Somebody, 2001.    Jim split “A Comedy About Somebody Everybody Can Believe In” for The Majestic. Neither enterprise glowed.
  34. Hank Azaria, The Simpsons#269: Simpsons Tall Tales, TV, 2001.  Since its 1989 birth, the yellowtoon family Simpson smashed records for episodes, audiences, and the most guest stars (as themselves or others). From Buzz Aldrin, Glenn Close (Homer’s Mom), Dennis Franz (Evil Homer!), George Harrison, Stephen Hawking, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hope, Eric Idle to Paul and Linda McCartney, Conan O’Brien (a Simpsonswriter made good), Michelle Pfeiffer, Mickey Rooney, Ringo Starr, Meryl Streep plus Barry (and Betty) White! Not all celebs won through…  
  35. Matthew Lillard, Scooby-Doo, 2001.     The cartoon ghost-chasers were stuck in Development Hell through the 90s. With Jim and Mike Myers as Shaggy favourites. By the new millennium, both were – sorry guys! – too frackin’ old.
  36. Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man, 2001.
  37. Dana Carvey, The Master of Disguise, 2001.    If the boss wouldn’t make it – Adam Sadler was the producer – why on earth would it attract Carrey?   Poor Carvey made it for his kids (probably the only people who saw it). He’s Pistachio Disguisey, an Italian waiter stemming from a long line of masters of disguise. (For example, his father retired after successfully impersonating Bo Derek). Dana does Scarface Pacino, Jaws’ Robert Shaw, George W Bush (no one new, you notice). But the film resembles Sandler. It think it’s funny.
  38. Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. 2002. The first one…  Disney never really knew what to do with the suggested movie based on the Disneyland ride. A tele-film or a proper movie? Over the years ten actors were approached about being Captain Jack Sparrow: Jim Carrey, Robert De Niro (!), Cary Elwes, Michael Keaton, Matthew McConaighey, Steve Martin, Rik Mayall, Bill Murrray, Christopher Walken, Robin Williams Whether any of them  would also have had mascara, gold teeth and a Keith Richards’ rock ‘n’ roll shuffle, we’ll never know.
  39. Will Ferrell, Elf, 2002.   Pitch: A man raised by elves  at the North Pole seeks his real fatrher. So everyone said: Jim Carrey. Except Jim Carrey! Actor-turned-durector Jon Favreau and his nine producers then gave a break to the comic (?) of the moment, Saturday Night Live’s Ferrell. “This was Will’s movie.” said co-star Zooey Deschanel. “He just has such a sweetness and innocence to him.” OK, but he’s not funny. Or, not to me.
  40. Matt Damon, Stuck On You, 2003.     The Farrelly brothers hit rock bottom (as if they knew their comedy antics were about to be sided-swiped by Judd Apatow’s reign as comedy king) with a farce about… conjoined twins. Despite a considerable  (27 year) age difference, Carrey was due to be twinned with…   Woody Allen. The crazy idea fell apart when The Woodman insisted on (a) no toilet gags and (b) more money than was on the table.  Enter : Damon conjoined with Greg Kinnear.

  41. Breckin Meyer, Garfield, 2003.     Passed. Obviously. The star was the titular, fat, lazy, lasagna-loving cat, not his owner. The unknown Meyer gave Drew Barrymore her first screen kiss and runs a production company with Seth Green and Ryan Philippe.
  42. Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland, 2003.        An odd idea, but Jim – very low onthe subtlety register – was up for Peter Pan creator JM Barrie – Sir James Matthew Barrie – before Johnny made it his own. Of course.
  43. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator, 2004.      In 2002, Carrey was very keen to be Howard Hughes and was in the planning stage… when director Martin Scorsese’s cinematic equivalent of The Spruce Goose finally tumbled down the runway – and took off, oh so majestically.
  44. Will Ferrell, Bewitched, 2004.    Too busy – or too canny- to be the husband of, well, who… Jennifer Aniston, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily great), Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow (perfect!), Tatum O’Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts… among others. The unnecessary movie needed his mania. It had nothing else.

  45. Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2004.     
    Once again, Depp was priceless. And Carrey too pricey. Director Tim Burton’s 29 other choclatier thoughts? One ole Betelgeuse Michael Keaton, and the surviving five Monty Pythons: John Cleese, Terry Gilliams, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. (They’d also up for the 1970 version)… plus Rowan Atkinson, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chase, Warwick Davis, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini, Dwayne Johnson, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Manson, Steve Martin, Rik Mayall, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, John Neville, Leslie Nielsen, Brad Pitt, Peter Sallis, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken and Robin Williams. Among the five exec producers, author    Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy, wanted her husband’s favourite  Willy – Dustin Hoffman.  If not possible she voted for UK comics, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams. She was quite happy with Depp… who found Willy’s voice while riffing on a stoned George W Bush!

  46. Sam Rockwell, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy2005.
  47. Kevin Spacey, Superman Returns, 2006.
  48. Bruce Willis, Over The Hedge, 2006.          From Bill Murray to Carrey to Willis – RK, the comic-strip racoon. changed his voice at last minute.
  49. Steve Carrell, Evan Almighty, 2006.        Or, Bruce Almighty 2 until Jim ruled out any sequel. His place was taken over by his-anchor rival in the original, now being told by God to go, build an ark…
  50. Jason Lee, Alvin and the Chipmunks, 2006.    For some reason all the A List – Carrey, Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ben Stiller, John Travolta – edged away from being Dave Seville – the chipmunks’ adoptive father, songwriter and supplier of the iconic yell: Allvviinn!!

  51. Steve Carell, Get Smart, 2007.     A vast improvement on 1979’s Nude Bomb, the last movie about  Mel Brooks’ creation of Maxwell Smart, the bumbling Blond working for CONTROL v Russia’s CAOS.   Carrey was attached ten years earlier. Will Ferrell changed his mind. The original Smart, Don Adams, who died in 2005, always intended Toronto’s Eric McCormack to be his successor.  
  52. Brendan Fraser, Furry Vengeance, 2009.  Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Bryan Cranston, Will Ferrell, even down-market Jeremy Piven walked away from the alleged “comedy”.  As dumb as Fraser’s earlier George of the Jungle.  (They helped ruin his A List career).  Not much of a comeback for Brooke Shield, either – as his wife. USA Today critic Claudia Puig did not mince her words. “A slapstick stinker, easily the worst movie of the year…  a slight to true environmentalists and, heck, even an affront to animals.” Fraser is ashamed of the  film.
  53. Stephen J Anderson, Meet The Robinsons, 2007.      Carrey was an early idea to voice The Bowler Hat Guy… before it became Anderson’s second voice-acting gig (third and fourth, as he also spoke for Grandpa Bud and Tallulah). He continued supplying voices when working at his day job – story artist and character designer on such Disney toons as Bolt, Frozen, Tangled, Zootopia.
  54. Tom Hiddleston, Thor, 2010.      Every superhero movie needs a supervillain and Carrey was keen on becoming the Norse god Thor’s awful brother. Loki. Charlie Cox auditioned. But UK director Kenneth Branagh had a far better idea… he’d acted with Hiddleston in Conspiracy, 2001, and the Wallander TV series, 2008.   
  55. Mel Gibson, The Beaver, 2010.      First bought by producer Steve Golin for his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind duo of Carrey and director Spike Jonze – a far more perfect plan than Jodie Foster (dimly) directing the disgraced Gibson, described by one UK critic as “the once famously handsome and hyperactive heartthrob transformed by depression into an old, paunchy, dead-eyed, grey-haired loser.” He won better reviews than Foster’s headlines (Jodie’s Beaver, etc) yet the $21m movie made less than $1m in the US.  Gibson was deader than John Cleese’s Norwegian Blue parrot.
  56. Ty Burrell, Butter, 2010.      Here’s a first…   New TV star from  Modern Family took over the role of the Elvis of Butter- the Iowa king of butter sculptures. His winning carvings during 15 years at the top included hilarious versions of The Last Supper and… Schindler’s List

  57. Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, 2011.
    Some of the names – and heights – up for Lee Child’s craggy ex-military cop-cum-Sherlock-homeless  were absurd.  Jim Carrey, for example. Jim Carrey!  Some 25 others  were Nicolas Cage, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, Cary Elwes,  Colin Farrell, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Hugh Wolverine Jackman, Dwayne Johnson (“I look back in gratitude that I didn’t get Jack Reacher”),  Avatar’s Stephen Lang, Dolph Lundgren, Edward Norton, Ron (Hellboy) Perlman, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves (he became John Wick x 5),  Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Vince Vaughn, Denzel Washington and the battle-fatigued  Bruce Willis.  Any of them would have been more acceptable than Tom Cruise  – with the exception of Carrey, Depp, Elwes, Reeves and, obviously the Euros. Pitt was best of the pack (remember Fight Club?)… although no one even thought of the obvious choice –   Liam Neeson!  Reacher fans were livid about  the 5ft 5ins Cruise daring to be  the  6ft 5ins  action hero. Reminiscent of Anne Rice’s capitulation over  tiny Tom as her “very tall” Lestat in  Interview With The Vampire, in 1994, author Lee Child declared: “Reacher’s size is a metaphor for an unstoppable force – which Cruise portrays in his own way.” Ah! But then in 2018, after the sequel, Child changed his tune about his child. (They share the same birthday, October 29).  ”Ultimately, the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is… So what I’ve decided to do is – there won’t be any more movies with Tom CruiseWe’re rebooting,  we’re going to try and find the perfect guy.” And they did with 6ft. 2ins Alan Richtson – Aquaman in Smallville and Hawk in Supergirl and Titans – for the Amazon series.

  58. Will Sasso, The Three Stooges, 2011.      He just couldn’t carry the weight of Curly Howard – opposite, at the time, Sean Penn and Benicio del Torro  as slap-happy Larry and Moe. Anti-fat-suit, Carrey gained 35, 40 lbs but… .“When you’re De Niro in your 20s or early 30s, you can kinda come back from that. It’s a tough thing when you’re upwards of 30. Your body can’t carry it or you can have a cardiac arrest.”In many respects (except success), Carrey in the brothers’ Dumb and Dumber was a test run for this film. The MadTV and$#*! My Dad Says star tookover with Sean Hayes and Chris Diamantopoulos as Larry and Moe.

  59. Dermot Mulroney, August: Osage County, 2012.       Oklahoma playwright (and actor) Tracy Letts wanted the Steppenwolf cast of his 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning play to be in the film. And was, aopparently, staggered to hear about Carrey being seen for the molester  Steve Heidebrecht,  When he got the role, Mulroney telephoned Julia Roberts, a pal sine together in  My Best Friend’s Wedding, 1996, and set for Karen in this film. “We both yelled on the phone like little girls!”  Also In the star-packed account of the Weston brood: Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, J, Sam Shepard and Meryl Streep.
  60. Jesse Eisenberg, Now You See Me, 2012.    And now you don’t. Carrey and Sacha Baron Cohen  (what a meeting that could have been) or  suave Brits Colin Firth and Hugh Grant were among the iine-up for The Horsemen group of illusionists – until a fateful decision was made. Go younger! Only Mrs SBC, Isla Fisher, escaped the axe.

  61. Bradley Cooper, Guardians of the Galaxy, 2013.     The most Lucasian of the Marvel films… H Jon Benjamin, Sharlto Copley, Danny De Vito, Michael Rooker, Adam Sandler and David Tennant were also short-listed to voice the gnarled, miserable, angryRocket Raccoon. (Well, he is half-machine/half-raccoon).  
  62. James Corden, Into The Woods, 2013.

  63. Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013.  
    Carrey and Steven Spielberg, Chapter Two… During the 20 year-long life of trying to re-make the 1947 version of James Thurber’s 1939 short story… Carrey almost made it happen. Twice! First in 1994 with producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr, son of the legendary producer of the origin Danny Kaye hit. Again in 2003 when talking to another Goldwyn producer (John, Sam’s grandson) and Steven Spielberg declared: If Jim’s starring, I’ll direct.   Unlucky Jim… Next in line: Owen Wilson in 2005, Mike Myers and Ben Stiller (he passed the first time in 2007), Will Ferrell (not sure when) as directors also switched, from Ron Howard to Gore Verbinski (who strangely never thought of his pirate, Johnny Depp?). Finally, Stiller directed himself, reducing Mitty’s daydreams and giving him a real adventure – almost as if this was a sequel to a re-make. ie a career-ruining flopperama.

  64. Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice, 2014.   For the troubled cop known as Bigfoot Bjornsen, director Paul Thomas Anderson mulled over Carrey and Michael Shannon.  Jim was a wildly off-beat idea (but PTA had once wrenched Adam Sandler out of his dull shtick  inPunch-Drunk Love, 2001). And Shannon had been here before. (Many times). Brolin’s Bjornsen, said Variety critic Scott Foundas, was “a Joe Friday primed to explode.”
  65. James Cromwell, Big Hero 6, 2014.    Six super heroes. So they naturally require one super-nemesis. Who better than (the masked) Robert Callaghan, head of a robotics at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. The voicing gig for Disney’s first Marvel subject –  after The Big Buy-Out but before Kevin Feige created the  Marvelverse, and  winning the best animation Oscar – was aimed at Jason Alexander, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey, Danny De Vito, John Goodman, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Michael Keaton, John Malkovich, Eddie Murphy, Jack  Nicholson, Gary Oldman, Joe Pesci, JK Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor….plus  the great Gilbert Gottfried, putting the rest to shame by scoring 179 screen roles in 41 years!   They all made way for Cromwell. Ten years earlier, he had created the I, Robot called Sonny, played by Alan Tudyk… here playing Cromwell’s arch rival, Alistair Krei.    
  66. Jack Black, Goosebumps, 2015. At one point – when   Tim Burton and George A Romero  passed the director’s chair  to Rob Letterman  – Carrey was due to star as the actual auther of the Goosebumps books, RL Stine… plus Slappy, the ventriloquist’s dummy.   As Black played Stine, Mr Stine played Mr Black… and  says he sold more books than Stephen King.  Hel was not lying,. He’s sold more than 400m books to King’s 350m-plus
  67. Zach Galifianakis, Keeping Up With The Joneses, 2015.   The way Isla Fisher told it,  Carrey simply changed his mind about being her husband in the script originally penned as a Mr and Mrs  Smith  sequel for Brad Pitrt and Angelina Jolie. They passed (via the divorce court) and the Smiths became the Joneses: Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot (Carrey had probably sussed that she had the best role). Zach and Isla were  tfhe mousey suburbanites shocked to find their neighbours were, well, Mr and Mrs Bond! Fisher’s husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, had a similar role in The  Brothers Grimsby, 2015, as the gormelss brother of an 007 type. (IMDb lists 67 other  fiilm and TV series or episodes called Keeping Up With The Joneses).
  68. James McAvoy, Split, 2015. 
    When Joaquin Phoenix could not reach a deal, auteur M Night Shyamalan met McAvoy by chance at a Comic-Con. The Scottish actor agreed to play the Billy Milligan (19552014), diagnosed with 24 multiple personalities (ten desirables,13 not), including two women and a girl of three.  Charged with raping three women in 1977, Milligan was acquitted when his defence argued that the crimes were committed, not by Milligan, but by one of his alternate personalities. Hitchcock created a masterpiece using the same subject matter to create Psycho, noted critic Dennis Schwarz,but Shyamalan is only a so-so director and just comes up with an unpleasant and pointless kidnapping thriller.”  David Fincher and Joel Schumacher were previously attached to another version, The Crowded Room, with such potential Milligans as Jim Carey, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio (producing his version), Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn and  Brad Pitt for the producer called Leo.













 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  68