Jim Carrey had a twelvemonth dissimilar immoderate different histrion successful 1994, successful which helium starred successful 3 fig 1 comedies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask, which was sandwiched successful between. In The Mask, the malleable actor—who had antecedently been champion known for his enactment connected Fox’s sketch deed In Living Color—tackled the relation of slope teller Stanley Ipkiss, who finds an enchanted disguise made by Norse deity Loki that helps him unleash his id by becoming a maniacal, green-faced superhero who tin change world for his ain amusement.
The movie made $120 million successful the U.S. unsocial and, to the anguish of parents everywhere, prompted kids to shriek “Sssssmokin’!” astatine each different for months afterward. Check retired immoderate facts astir the movie and quality Carrey erstwhile called “Fred Astaire connected acid.”
The Mask is based connected a comic publication concept by Mike Richardson and Mark Badger that primitively appeared successful Dark Horse Presents in 1987. (Comic creators Doug Mahnke, John Arcudi, and Chris Warner besides worked connected consequent iterations of the character.) While the diagnostic movie coiled up being a frenzied comedy, the source material was considerably little humorous. Instead of a mallet, the comic Stanley might whip retired an axe and commencement chopping. That Mask was, successful the words of screenwriter Mike Werb, “very acheronian … Stanley ends up sidesplitting hundreds of people.” With manager Chuck Russell, the 2 reshaped the communicative truthful that Stanley is much mischievous than homicidal. (Richardson and Mark Verheiden besides worked connected drafts of the script.)
Werb based the quality successful portion connected his ain childhood. “Stanley is me, benignant of,” helium told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. “I was beauteous overmuch a loser geek successful precocious school. I weighed 90 pounds and grew 6 inches, from 5 feet 4 [inches] to 5 feet 10 [inches], successful 1 year. I person agelong marks connected my knees for this! They called maine ‘The Worm’ due to the fact that it was adjacent to my name; the kinder ones called maine ‘The Whip.’ You don’t cognize however galore times I wished I had the mask.”
2. The Mask was written for Jim Carrey.
At the clip enactment was underway connected The Mask, Carrey was inactive champion known for his enactment on In Living Color and successful a bid of supporting roles successful films similar Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and Earth Girls Are Easy (1989). But Chuck Russell was very aware of the histrion acknowledgment to his clip producing the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School. (Dangerfield and Carrey were friends.) Though New Line considered Rick Moranis and Robin Williams for the role, it was Carrey who emerged arsenic the frontrunner.
“I wanted to usage a comedian for a portion successful Back to School, but it was the portion of a assemblage prof and Jim was excessively young to play that,” Russell said successful 1994. “We ended up utilizing Sam Kinison. When I started scripting The Mask, I had Jim successful caput adjacent earlier I knew whether I could get him oregon not. When helium work the archetypal draught I worked on, helium said, ‘It looks similar it’s written for me.’ I said, ‘You’re perfectly correct.’ We were successful sync from past on.”
Carrey signed connected to The Mask earlier Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was released and turned the comic histrion into a immense container bureau draw. That helped prevention New Line a small spot of cash: He was paid conscionable $450,000 for the role, acold little than the $7 cardinal the workplace gave him for Dumb and Dumber later that year.
Carrey besides came with an further bargain: According to Chuck Russell, the workplace astir apt saved astir $1 cardinal successful peculiar effects expenses acknowledgment to the actor’s elastic face, which helped Stanley Ipkiss go the effusive and cartoon-like Mask.
4. Effects artists astatine ILM had much amusive connected The Mask than connected Jurassic Park.
The peculiar effects artists astatine Industrial Light and Magic started working connected the visuals for The Mask right aft completing enactment connected 1993’s groundbreaking Jurassic Park. The alteration was seemingly precisely what they needed to debar burnout. “After Jurassic Park, I was astir acceptable to battalion it in,” ILM’s then-director of animation Steve Williams said. “But The Mask was wholly refreshing … What we could bash with the dinosaurs was constricted by the laws of the earthy world, but The Mask was textbook cartooning. We got truly excited watching the dailies. It was a batch much amusive spending a twelvemonth watching Jim than it was spending 2 years seeing however accurately we could marque the butt of a elephantine reptile jiggle.”
Carrey’s co-star in The Mask was Max, a 5-year-old Jack Russell terrier who plays Stanley’s dog, Milo. Max virtually steals the movie from Carrey during the climax erstwhile helium dons the mask. To get the canine to hit his marks, his trainer plied him with Fig Newtons, a dainty helium had learned to emotion arsenic a puppy.
6. The yellowish suit successful The Mask was based connected 1 Carrey wore successful existent life.
As the Mask, Ipkiss is simply a crisp dresser and admirer of 1940s couture who favors a agleam yellowish zoot suit. The costume was really inspired by a suit Carrey wore during his aboriginal years arsenic a stand-up comedian successful the 1980s. His parent reportedly made him a yellowish polyester suit with tails connected the premise that young men were wearing them. (Apparently, nary 1 was, and Carrey felt somewhat foolish.)
Supermodel Anna Nicole Smith was 1 of respective women Russell considered for the relation of Tina, a vocalist who captures Stanley’s heart. Eventually, Russell settled connected Cameron Diaz, a exemplary who had yet to person immoderate diagnostic acting credits. “[She] was the lone idiosyncratic for the portion arsenic acold arsenic I was acrophobic aft her archetypal reading,” Russell said. “And past I saw the chemistry with her and Jim. Eight callbacks later, including improvs with Jim, I yet convinced producers [to formed her].”
8. The “Cuban Pete” country was astir chopped from the movie.
From the beginning, it had been Russell’s intention to marque The Mask a benignant of covert musical, including a large creation fig successful which Ipkiss (as the Mask) performs “Cuban Pete,” a opus that was archetypal released successful 1936 and aboriginal popularized by Desi Arnaz connected the sitcom I Love Lucy. New Line was little definite astir the country and considered cutting it until a preview assemblage gave it an enthusiastic reception. The opus stayed successful and adjacent became a modest Billboard hit nether their Hot Dance Music category.
When New Line signed Carrey to The Mask backmost successful 1993, the woody included a proviso for a sequel—one that looked apt fixed the film’s tremendous occurrence and Carrey’s container bureau appeal. He was to beryllium paid up to $10 cardinal for the follow-up.
It ne'er materialized. Though Carrey has done fewer sequels successful his vocation (1995’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To, and 2022’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 among them) helium has often expressed reluctance astatine returning to roles. New Line went up with a sequel anyway: 2005’s Son of the Mask, which starred Jamie Kennedy, made conscionable $17 million.
In 2020, Carrey said he’d see a Mask sequel if “some brainsick visionary filmmaker” were involved.
10. The Mask could person met up with Freddy Krueger oregon Jason Voorhees.
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Before Carrey mislaid involvement successful a sequel, New Line Cinema laminitis Robert Shaye was optimistic the quality could not lone spawn a bid but perchance meet the studio’s different iconic antiheroes: Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare connected Elm Street and Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th franchises. Russell, successful fact, had directed 1987’s A Nightmare connected Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
“Universal did that benignant of thing, and we’re not unsighted to the possibilities,” Shaye told the Los Angeles Times in 1994. “If Universal could person Abbott and Costello conscionable Frankenstein and the Wolf Man, possibly Stanley Ipkiss could conscionable up with Freddy and Jason.” That ne'er happened, though Freddy and Jason did brushwood each different successful 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason.