For people of a certain age, Jim Carrey is a film legend who had an incredible run of comedy movies across the ’90s and 2000s. While not all those films have aged particularly well (we’re looking at you, Ace Ventura), it’s undeniable that Carrey’s movies hold a special place in a lot of moviegoers’ hearts.
One such movie is Bruce Almighty, a rather strange film about a news anchor (the titular Bruce, played by Carrey) who, after a run-in with God (Morgan Freeman), is given omnipotence. Hilarity ensues before Bruce eventually learns even ultimate power can’t make you happy.
Bruce Almighty was a huge success and was Carrey’s highest-grossing movie until the release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2. It’s unsurprising then that we eventually got a sequel, Evan Almighty, a spin-off family movie featuring Steve Carell’s character from the first film.
Evan Almighty wasn’t the first idea pitched, though. Originally, the filmmakers planned on bringing Carrey back for a far darker story that would have bordered on a horror movie. The film would reportedly have been called Brucifer and would have seen Bruce take on the powers of Satan after his fiancee Grace (Jennifer Aniston) dies.
According to Syfy Wire, the idea came from Bruce Almighty’s screenwriters, Steve Koren and Mark O’Keefe, and Carrey were into the idea.
“[Jim Carrey’s] manager and [Jim] wanted to do Brucifer,” Koren told Syfy Wire. “We went in and pitched it, but it never quite worked out because it was later on … It would have been another giant movie, and I don’t think they wanted to do it. It just didn’t work out for some reason, but a lot of people loved it, including Jim.”
Despite the film’s potentially dark themes, Koren and O’Keefe were confident they could have made it funny. “It came from a serious place, but we were gonna write it in a very friendly way, Koren said. “We certainly didn’t want to depress people.”
The pair say that Carrey understood their vision and pitched Bruce resurrecting Grace as a zombie, like Jack Goodman in the werewolf movie An American Werewolf in London.
“It was going to be the Trials of Job, essentially,” O’Keefe explained. “The world had not gone his way since he was God. Everything was great for a while; he was married, and it all fell apart. He was once again questioning everything and then got a different way to solve things… Totally different themes, of course, but the beats everyone enjoys.”
As fun (or not as the case may be) as Brucifer sounds, it never saw the light of day, which may be for the best considering how dark it sounds. If you think Brucifer sounds fun, check out our list of the best monster movies. We also have a guide to all the new movies coming in 2023, including Scream 6, Saw 10, and Evil Dead Rise.