Bruce Almighty Sequel Might Have Featured The Devil

What if you became the most powerful entity in the universe and could make your deepest wishes come true with a simple wave of your hand? It is the ultimate wish fulfillment scenario that was brought to its logical conclusion in 2003. bruce almighty.

The film, now streaming PeacockIt was the third team blockbuster between Ace Ventura Y wild wild alumni – director Tom Shadyac and actor Jim Carrey. In it, Bruce Nolan (Carrey) is a braggart reporter suddenly given omnipotence by God (a perfectly cast Morgan Freeman).

This genuinely limitless premise, coupled with Carrey’s unrivaled talent for physical comedy and universal themes of responsibility and goodwill towards humanity, ensured divine box office results. bruce almighty premiered on the big screen at the end of May 2003, ensuring nearly $500 million worldwide against a budget of $81 million at the end of its theatrical run.

The night it opened in theaters across the country, the film’s writers Steve Koren and Mark O’Keefe met with producer Michael Bostick and pitched a hellish sequel idea about Bruce gaining the powers of Satan. . Naturally, the follow up would be called what else? – “Brucifer”. The duo later brought the idea to Universal Pictures around 2010, but by then, the studio had already weathered the colossal financial bombshell that was 2007. evan almighty (a pseudo-sequel starring the then up and coming Steve Carell). Despite the enthusiasm for Carrey’s ending, a third chapter was doomed to purgatory.

“His manager and he wanted to do brucifer“Koren recalls during a recent Zoom call with O’Keefe and SYFY WIRE. “We went in and pitched it, but it never quite worked out, because it was later… It would have been another giant movie and I don’t know. I think they wanted to. It just didn’t work for some reason, but a lot of people loved it, including Jim.”

But why would Bruce lose faith and join the devil after facing irrefutable proof from a higher power? His solution was simple: Bruce’s wife, Grace (Jennifer Aniston), needed to die.

“You tend to lose faith when the world seems unfair, and that’s what got him,” says Koren. “He came from a serious place, but we were going to write it in a very friendly way. We certainly didn’t want to bring people down. So I think he scared [the studio] a little bit, but to Jim’s credit, he fully understood that we were going to make a great comedy and he thought everyone would connect with it.”

For example, they proposed the idea of ​​Bruce using his satanic powers to resurrect Grace. Carrey took that a step further, suggesting that he first appear as a rotting corpse, à la Jack Goodman in An American werewolf in London. “I remember when we cast it, he was cracking up,” says Koren. “Because we made her come back as Jennifer Aniston. He said, ‘No, she first has to look like a zombie and then we’ll make her beautiful again.’ We thought she was brilliant.”

“It was going to be Job’s Trials, essentially,” O’Keefe adds. “The world hadn’t gone his way since he was God. Everything was great for a while; he was married and it all fell apart. Once again he was questioning everything and then he found a different way to work things out.” O’Keefe goes on to describe brucifer as “the most profitable sequel imaginable”, given how they planned for Freeman or Carrey himself to play Beelzebub. “Totally different themes, of course, but the beats are enjoyed by all.”

With so many popular movies being adapted for TV these days (ie. his own league, Fargo, Western world, Unlimited, minority report – to name a few), the co-writers aren’t averse to reusing their original draft, “which was someone who becomes a God of a specific neighborhood,” Koren reveals. “Get these three blocks. Do you think you can be God? Here, try it on your own.”

“It was very much like a Mel Brooks movie,” O’Keefe says of that initial concept. “It was like ‘The God of 57th Street.’ Which area was he in charge of, essentially. And so we decided [on] a couple of blocks in New York.” Also, the overall tone was much raunchier and in the style of the Farrelly Brothers, “which was very popular at the time.” Carrey, of course, made two profitable movies with the brother filmmakers: dumb and dumber (1994) and me, myself and irene (2000).

Before selling the spec script to Shadyac and Bostick at the turn of the millennium, Koren and O’Keefe envisioned Jim Breuer, Chris Farley, or Will Ferrell for the role of Bruce, especially since Koren already had several Saturday night live connections from his time as a writer on NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show throughout the 1990s. It’s worth mentioning that this was right before Will Ferrell became one of the biggest movie stars. great of the planet with Elfwhich was released several months later bruce almighty.

“We enter [Shadyac’s] office, and he says, ‘Okay, it’s up to you. If you want to try to do it right now, we can either give him Jim Breuer or we can take a big hit and try to get Jim Carrey,'” O’Keefe says. “We said, ‘Okay, let’s take that swing, because it’s a much bigger swing. And it worked. The reason why Bruce went is [because] Steve and I are huge fans of Bruce Springsteen. I was remembering your office at NBC, Steve. You had a Bruce Springsteen poster on the wall.”

After Shadyac and Carrey got hold of the script, their colleague, Steve Oedekerk (the nutty professor, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls), made a credited pass, changing Bruce from a car salesman to a Buffalo-based reporter hoping to become a full-time network anchor. This opened the door for some of the film’s most memorable gags, whether it was Bruce solving the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa’s missing corpse or Steve Carrell hilariously misinterpreting a teleprompter during a live newscast. “I think Jim wanted to be a reporter or something,” says O’Keefe. Then he and Oedekerk brought that home, which was hilarious.”

“Generally, everything we read in the rewrites that we were like, ‘Well, why would they do that to our script?’ We ended up being very thankful for a lot of them because it certainly became a movie for a lot of people.” Love, Koren continues: “If there was a ‘genius,’ it was the combination of what we did with Steve Oedekerk, Jim and all those guys.”

bruce almighty it had the potential to piss off a lot of people, but it didn’t. The ambiguous religiousness of the piece kept the film non-denominational and appealing to any and all belief systems. “We were like, ‘God is God,'” O’Keefe declares. “I guess there’s a common understanding of God in so many cultures. And so, it seemed like it would resonate with everyone.”

“We did our best to never address a specific god of a specific religion,” Koren repeats. “We tried to keep it general so everyone could relate to it. The first night it opened, we went to The Grove and I remember being in shock because there was a line around the block. It was so diverse. And I was like: ‘Oh my gosh! We really hit that nerve.’ We were so blessed to use such a God-like word here. We couldn’t believe it actually worked and it seemed to strike a chord with everyone.”

Bruce Almighty is now broadcasting in peacock.

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