Jim Carrey wanted to make a found-footage horror film based on the making of Dumb and Dumber To.
Dumb and Dumber To may not have been the Jim Carrey/Jeff Daniels reunion that everyone had hoped for, but it very nearly gave us a film that fans would have loved: a found-footage horror movie based on the making of the sequel. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (via Screenrant) the directing team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka The Daniels) revealed that Carrey came to them with an idea to make a second movie during production of the 2014 film, using the Paranormal Activity concept to make a Dumb and Dumber horror film.
The idea for the film actually came to Jim Carrey while he was making the first Dumb and Dumber. The movie was partially filmed at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, a famously haunted hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. The Dumb and Dumber crew also experienced creepy supernatural occurrences while filming the 1994 classic, so Carrey wanted to carry over that concept into the making of the sequel, creating a behind-the-scenes documentary that would suddenly become a found-footage horror film.
While The Daniels loved the idea when Jim Carrey pitched it to them, the producers of the film balked. “We wrote a whole outline and were really excited,” Daniel Kwan told The Hollywood Reporter. “Then we sat down with the producer, we pitched the idea, and they’re like, ‘We’re not actually going to make this. I’m sorry, Jim got really excited, but there’s no way the studio is going to let us do a movie while they’re shooting Dumb and Dumber To.’”
The sequel could have used a bold new concept like the horror angle Jim Carrey proposed. Although fans were excited to see Carrey and Daniels reunite for the 2014 film, the new adventures of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne flopped with audiences and critics. The film managed a pitiful 30% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and movie goers were equally unimpressed, rating it at 35%.
It’s not clear if the directors of Dumb and Dumber To, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly (aka The Farrelly Brothers) were aware of the idea or if they blocked it.
Although The Daniels didn’t get to make that movie, they would eventually find success and critical acclaim, but without Jim Carrey. They directed 2016’s Swiss Army Man with Daniel Radcliffe, but scored a huge smash earlier this year (and quite possibly some Oscar nominations) with the multiverse comedy Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.
While Jim Carrey is famously reluctant to make sequels to any of his films, he does break that rule for roles he truly enjoys, like Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. He very nearly made a sequel to Bruce Almighty called Brucifer, in which the original film’s concept would be turned on its ear by having Carrey gain the powers of the Devil, rather than God’s. The poor reception to Evan Almighty, however, killed any plans for the film.
Carrey has recently stated that he is retiring from acting, although other interviews seems to indicate he plans to keep working. If so, the idea of a Dumb and Dumber horror film may not be dead just yet, as Carrey has voiced his fondness for working with Jeff Daniels, and this would be a perfect reason to reunite.