Ricky Stanicky Will Reunite Ace Ventura 2 Team
Jim Carrey has been enjoying a mild career resurgence of late, what with his role in the recently released magician caper The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (read our review here) and an impending role in anticipated comic book sequel Kick Ass 2. What’s more he’s set to re-team with the Farrelly Brothers to make Dumb & Dumber To, only the second sequel that Carrey has ever attempted in his entire career.
It’s curious to see him get involved in a Dumb & Dumber sequel now, as he had resisted it for so long (resulting in the terrible Dumb & Dumber prequel with younger characters) – it could be seen as an act of desperation, an attempt to remain relevant, but I honestly think that the notion that Dumb & Dumber being considered as relevant in this day and age is a slight exaggeration. I suppose Carrey is merely dealing with a problem that a lot of aging actors face in Hollywood, namely the amount of roles that they are offered dries up considerably. It’s a shame as I firmly believe that Carrey has showcased to audiences many times that not only does he still have “it”, but he also makes a brilliant serious dramatic actor (just see Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Number 23, Man On The Moon, The Truman Show etc.).
This brings us to discuss a new project that Carrey has in development, an R-rated buddy comedy called Ricky Stanicky. The script was written by Beverley Hills Chihauhua scribe Jeff Bushell (oh boy), but actually made it onto the Hollywood Black List (oh yay!) before being acquired by Summit Entertainment. The script is still set to undergo rewrites, which considering the previous status of Black list isn’t the most welcome news.
For those not in the know, the Hollywood Black List is compiled at the end of every year by industry insiders and consists of the best unproduced scripts in the business, a lot of them unproduced because they aren’t entirely market friendly, yet still brilliant. Black List scripts being bought is always a positive thing, but when they’re subsequently rewritten with markets in mind they can often destroy the very reason why they were even on the list in the first place. This actually happens a saddening amount of times with comedies.
Anyway, Ricky Stanicky is about three best friends, who during their teenage years, invent an imaginary scapegoat friend upon whom they can blame all their wrongdoings and therefore escape punishment by their parents. The scheme proves so successfu that they continue their “friendship” with Ricky well into their adult lives and it continues to be a useful tool – until one day their spouses demand to meet the mysterious troublemaker. Of course, this puts the trio in a tough spot, so they turn to an out of work actor and hire him to play the role of Ricky Stanicky, in order to convince their wives that the man actually exists.
So far, so high concept, which tends to be both the key to success and the Achilles heel of great comedy. Carrey had previously been reluctant to join the film, but the recent hiring of Steve Oedekerk at the helm has eased his concerns and encouraged him to sign on the dotted line. Oedekerk and Carrey have worked together before on Ace Venture: When Nature Calls, which is the only sequel that Carrey had felt comfortable tackling to this date, which could go some way to suggest that Carrey puts a certain amount of faith in Oedekerk as a screenwriter/director.
Ricky Stanicky has been in development for a while now, though all has been quiet, the last piece of solid news was all the way back in 2010 when James Franco had agreed to star, with Peyton Reed – the director of failed Carrey vehicle Yes Man – set to direct the film, so it’s certainly a possibility that the producers of Ricky Stanicky have had Carrey in mind for a long time. The reuniting of Carrey and Oedekerk is sure to interest a lot of people, especially those of us who fondly remember Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls as a great piece of 90′s nostalgia and fun. Everyone loves a slinky!
Personally, I’ve always preferred Pet Detective to the sequel, but I know there are plenty of people who feel differently. It remains to be seen whether this pairing will result in Ricky Stanicky‘s success though. The concept certainly lends itself to a great comedy, as with most of these films it now all depends on the script and how the rewrite has fared. It should be noted that while Carrey is a great actor his recent attempts at comedy have resulted in more misses than hits, and Oedekerk hasn’t directed a feature since the lacklustre animated talking animal comedy Barnyard in which Sam Elliott played a cow. Yes, there’s a reason you don’t remember it.
While this writer would most certainly prefer it if Carrey stuck to more serious roles, I also hope that he can find his legs and restore some bankability to his name with Ricky Stanicky and Dumb & Dumber To. As you all know by now, in Hollywood, money talks and the only way you’re going to land yourself good roles is by bringing in the audience dollars. Stay tuned at The Monolith for more updates on these projects as they develop!