It's been nearly two decades since the premiere of Bruce Almighty, 2003's surprise hit comedy led by Jim Carrey. The film, which was the latest collaboration between Carrey and Ace Ventura and Liar Liar director Tom Shadyac, took a unique approach to religion and theology, with Carrey's Bruce Nolan being gifted the powers of God (Morgan Freeman). The film was a financial success and ultimately spawned a sequel, 2007's Steve Carrell-led Evan Almighty — but it sounds like the future of it almost looked wildly different. In a recent interview with SYFY WIRE, screenwriters Steve Koren and Mark O'Keefe revealed that they did initially pitch a sequel to the film on the night of its opening, tentatively titled Brucifer, which would have given Bruce the powers of Satan. The idea earned the support of Carrey, and was pitched to Universal Pictures as late as 2010, but ultimately did not come together.
"His manager and him wanted to do Brucifer," Koren revealed. "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."
As Koren and O'Keefe revealed, the inciting incident for Bruce's turn towards Hell would have involved his wife, Grace (Jennifer Aniston), getting killed off — and then returning in a way not unlike An American Werewolf in London.
"You tend to lose your faith when the world seems unfair, and that's what got him," Koren explained. "It came from a serious place, but we were gonna write it in a very friendly way. We certainly didn't want to depress people. So I think that scared [the studio] a little bit, but to Jim's credit, he totally understood that we were going to make a big comedy and thought everybody would connect with it."
"I remember when we pitched it, he was laughing his ass off," Koren continued. "Because we had her come back as Jennifer Aniston. He said, 'No, she has to look like a zombie first and then we'll make her beautiful again.' We thought that was brilliant."
"It was going to be the Trials of Job, essentially," O'Keefe added. "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." O'Keefe goes on to describe Brucifer as "the most cost-effective sequel imaginable," given how they planned for Beelzebub to either be played by Freeman or Carrey himself. "Totally different themes, of course, but the beats everyone enjoys."
What do you think of these plans for a Bruce Almighty sequel? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!