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Thanks to their ambitious, surreal, and quirky multiverse film “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” filmmaking pair, The Daniels are having a moment. Their A24 genre-bending comedy ended up becoming the biggest box office success for the studio, and there’s enough Oscar buzz that it’s likely landing a Best Picture nod this year. The inventive film starring Michelle Yeoh helped spotlight the gonzo filmmaking talents, and while their feature film efforts are always conceptually outlandish, one project that got away sounds just as bonkers.
During a writer’s roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Kwan, one-half of the Daniels pair, revealed that comedic actor Jim Carrey had once approached the pair to write a found-footage horror comedy while making the sequel to The Farrelly Brothers’ hit comedy “Dumb & Dumber,” the long-forgotten 2014 movie “Dumb & Dumber To.” After being asked about wild writing assignments, Kwan explained that the bizarre project pitched came to them by Carrey and was influenced by the set of the first film along with a popular horror film trend around that time.
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“This is funny. Very early on in our careers, Jim Carrey reached out because he had just seen ‘Paranormal Activity’ and he was like ‘Guys, it’s found footage, and it’s horror have you heard of it, have you seen this?’ And we’re like, ‘We’ve heard of it… where’s this going?’” Kwan explained
“He was like, ‘I haven’t seen anyone do that but with comedy, and I have this great idea.’ Because on the set of ‘Dumb & Dumber, ’ it’s famously a haunted set, right? It was the same hotel that ‘The Shining’ was inspired by. That’s where they shot all the stuff in Aspen, and so he’s like, ‘The whole time we were shooting the first ‘Dumb & Dumber’, things were like breaking, and people were getting hurt, doors were swinging, it felt haunted. I’m about to go shoot [‘Dumb & Dumber To’], and I want you guys to do a found-footage horror comedy on the set of ‘Dumb & Dumber To’ while we’re filming. You guys are going to make a BTS video; it’s going to be a feature-length BTS video that slowly becomes a horror film. And we’re like, ‘Ok, we’re in 100%. This is amazing.’”
Kwan continued to dish up how far they actually got with the writing assignment before reality came into play, “We wrote a whole outline, we were like, ‘This is incredible.’ We sat down with the producer, and we pitched them the idea, and they’re like, “Yeah, we’re actually not going to make this; I’m sorry, but Jim got really excited, but there is no way the studio is going to let us do a movie while they’re shooting ‘Dumb & Dumber To.’”
Of course, the major studio players involved with the film, New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures, weren’t going to shoot two competing movies at the same time since that would have been a logistical nightmare and caused more headaches for everyone working on ‘Dumb & Dumber To,’ but that would have been quite the filmmaking exercise if they had gone along with that nutty idea.
You can watch Kwan tell his story in that roundtable discussion below.