Jim Carrey’s career has taken a surprising, and negative turn – not only have his movies been underperforming for the last couple of years, but he’s been having projects canceled or delayed on him because of the cost. And part of that cost is his huge – and increasingly unjustifiable – paycheck. Meanwhile, he hasn’t been able to get taken as seriously as he has wanted, despite films like Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
That could mean that now is the ideal time for the actor to take a real, legitimate risk – like playing a family man who gets sent to prison and falls madly in love with his cellmate. And just to make sure that the film isn’t some kind of watered down, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry bullshit, it’s being written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the guys who wrote the wonderfully dark Bad Santa.
I Love You Phillip Morris is the name of the film, and it would be the duo’s directorial debut; it’s based on the non-fiction book by Steve McVicker. Once a husband, father and police officer, Steven Russell became a criminal mastermind who broke out of prison a number of times – including once by faking AIDS and forging his own death certificate! – often inspired by his endless love for former cellmate Phillip Morris. It’s Cornhole Me If You Can, more or less.
Carrey has a number of projects lined up in the near future, including Tim Burton’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which has gone back to the script stage in an effort to make it more affordable. I Love You Phillip Morris is going to cost less than 20 million dollars, apparently, and if the movie is in the vein of Bad Santa – edgy yet good-hearted – I think it’s Carrey’s best bet.