After his breakthrough success in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the film that really set Jim Carrey’s career ablaze was The Mask. The comic book adaptation was a film that New Line Cinema had initially modest expectations for in the summer of 1994. But soon, they realized they had a breakthrough movie star on their hands, with Carrey’s physicality also said to have shaved a fair bit off the special effects budget.
Director Chuck Russell has been looking back at the movie, and he’s revealed that New Line had a very different take on the film originally. “It’s a great example of really fighting for your vision in a film. We changed it from a horror film into a comedy. It was original conceived as being a horror film. That was a real battle. New Line wanted a new kind of Freddy movie,” he said.
He also recalled the first time that he saw Jim Carrey, noting that “he wasn’t really desired as a leading man at the time.” However, Russell watched Carrey perform his stand-up on stage in Los Angeles, and described him as someone who “looked like a hallucination live on stage.”
Carrey, of course, would take the role, and a big box office hit would follow. His resistance to appearing in a sequel led to the particularly poor Son Of The Mask, a movie both he and Russell had no involvement in…