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Jim Carrey’s ‘The Mask’ Was Supposed to Be a Horror Film

Jim Carrey’s ‘The Mask’ Was Supposed to Be a Horror Film

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Jim Carrey’s beloved fantasy comedy film The Mask was originally intended to be a horror movie.

The 1994 movie – starring the Hollywood funnyman and a young Cameron Diaz – was a huge box office hit and is still popular with family audiences now who love Carrey as unlucky bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss and his madcap green-faced alter ego.

Now, director Chuck Russell has revealed he had to battle bosses at New Line to let him make the film a comedy as opposed to the horror romp they had envisioned.

Speaking to Xfinity about the 30th anniversary of his cult classic Freddy Krueger installment A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Russell said: “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 [Krueger] movie.”

The I Am Wrath helmer understands why New Line thought the character would best be presented on the big screen as murderous villain because the Dark Horse comic book series – which is what the film is based on – presents a far more gruesome individual.

Russell added: “By coincidence, I had seen the same original Mask comic they ended up buying, and I thought, ‘That’s really cool, but it’s too derivative of Freddy Krueger.’ It really was. He would put on the mask and kill people. And have one-liners. It was a really cool, splatterpunk, black and white comic. They’ve redone the comics to be more like my movie, but the original comics were really cool, dark and scary. But I knew, as a film, it would be very reminiscent of Freddy Krueger.”

The Mask was one of three films released that year starring Carrey, the other two being Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which made him a global superstar.

Russell, 59, knew he wanted Carrey, 55, for the lead role, even though he wasn’t widely known back then, after watching him do a stand-up comedy routine in Los Angeles.

The filmmaker shared: “He wasn’t really desired as a leading man at that time. [When I saw] him he looked like a hallucination live on stage. Jim read it and he said, ‘I’ll be doing this role at grocery store openings when I’m 70.’ “

Emma Loggins Emma Loggins is the Editor in Chief of FanBolt. As an internationally recognized "Geek Girl", Emma updates daily on the latest entertainment news, her opinions on current happenings in the media, screening/filming opportunities, inside scoops and more.  She’s been writing on the world of geekdom and pop culture since 2002 and is also considered to be one of the top Atlanta bloggers and influencers!

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