Spike Jonze Almost Directed ‘Ace Ventura 2’ – Until Jim Carrey Rejected Him
You never know what’s going to get said at a film festival Q&A. Someone might make a long rambling personal statement about what the director’s work means to them instead of asking an actual question. Probably someone will ask what the movie’s budget was. And once in a while, you might learn about an amazing movie that almost was.
That’s what happened today at the Toronto International Film Festival. Spike Jonze and Jim Carrey were on stage together, talking about their new documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, about the making of Carrey’s Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. Chris Smith directed the film, but Jonze produced it, and in the early moments of the Q&A, Carrey explained that part of the genesis of the project was a long-held desire to work with Jonze, ever since their paths crossed early in their careers. Two decades ago, Spike Jonze almost directed ... wait for it... Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
Here’s how Carrey described it:
I’ve been wanting to do something with Spike forever. I was stupid enough to turn him down to direct Ace [Ventura] 2, cause I had no idea who he was. And he came in and pitched all kinds of s---, and he was about to take over the world and I didn’t know it. I was like ‘I don’t know, this guy’s new.’ And I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
Carrey was also asked who he would want to play him if someone ever made a Jim Carrey biopic, the way he played Andy Kaufman in a biopic. He answered without hesitation: “Ryan Gosling.” At this same Q&A, the filmmakers announced that Jim & Andy had been acquired by Netflix. So you’ll be able to see it there in the near future. As for Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, you can buy the film on home video, or rent it online. But Spike Jonze’s version, sadly, belongs to the Great Beyond.