It's fun to have God's powers...and if you don't believe it, just ask Bruce Nolan aka CARREY), because he should know!
Bruce is a local Eyewitness News TV reporter in Buffalo, New York, best known for doing humorous, homespun, human interest stories...which make everyone happy but him!
Bruce would much rather be replacing the soon-to retire anchorman, or at the very least, reporting significant news from international hot spots.
Essentially, Bruce is discontented with nearly everything in his life, and rarely misses an opportunity to complain about it. He has a loving girlfriend, Grace (JENNIFER ANISTON), who runs a day care ceriter, is happy with her life, and adores Bruce in spite of his negativity. While he dreams of becoming a legend like Walter Cronkite, she tries to help the world one day at a time.
Bruce is handed a good opportunity when he's asked to do a story on the 23rd anniversary of Niagara Falls' famed Maid of the Mist boat, which will air live during sweeps. But the mist hits the fan when it's announced on-air-just before Bruce goes live-that the co-anchor position about to be vacated is going to Bruce's superficial and supercilious rival. In front of millions of viewers, Bruce has a major-league, no holds-barred, on-camera meltdown, punctuated by a four-letter word not yet cleared for network television.
One disaster follows another on this, the worst day of Bruce Nolan's life, as he's fired from the station, beaten up by a gang of toughs, who then vandalize his car.
Furious, Bruce rails and rages against the Lord for his rotten luck...which is followed by a curious series of signs and portents-most of which Bruce ignores- but one of which eventually leads him to a nondescript old building called Omni Presents, Inc.
There, Bruce meets an equally nondescript janitor (MORGAN FREEMAN), who ultimately reveals himself for who He really is...yep, he's God!
He's heard Bruce's complaints, and now has an offer for the choleric ex-newscaster...His job. By endowing Bruce with all of His powers, God challenges him to take on the big job and see if he can do any better!
And once Bruce convinces himself that he's not dreaming, having a nightmare or a psychotic episode, he proceeds to utilize the infinite powers at his disposal, great and small, for his own amusement, advancement and advantage until finally he stands at a crossroads: whether or not he will become the biggest and most powerful jerk in the universe, or find a little bit of humanity in Bruce Almighty.
Universal Pictures' Bruce Almighty is a wild new comedy about a man who goes looking for God...and finds himself. The film reunites two-time Golden Globe Award winner Jim Carrey with director/producer TOM SHADYAC, the
Starring with Carrey are two-time 2002 Golden Globe Award winner and Emmy winner Jennifer Aniston and Golden Globe Award winner and three-time Academy Award' nominee Morgan Freeman.
The supporting cast includes such fine talents as LISA ANN WALTER (TV's Breaking News and Lifes Work, as well as Disney's The Parent Trap) as Grace's salty sister Debbie; PHILIP BAKER HALL ( The Sum of All Fears, Rules of Engagement, Magnolia, The Insider) as Jack Keller, the crusty station manager; CATHERINE BELL (Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie on TV's Jackassas sexy, seductive news anchor Susan Ortega; STEVE CARELL (television's The Daily Show and Watching Ellie) as Bruce's network arch-rival Evan Baxter; NORA DUNN (Saturday Night Live, Sisters) as Bruce's long-suffering segment producer, Ally Loman; and Golden Globe Award-winner. SALLY KIRKLAND (Anna, Ed Tl~ JFK ) as a lovelorn waitress at a local Buffalo diner.
Nearly the entire production team of Bruce Almighty have previously worked with Shadyac. The film is produced by Tom Shadyac, Jim Carrey, JAMES D. BRUBAKER and MICHAEL BOSTICK. The executive producers are ROGER BIRNBAUM and GARY BARBER. LINDA FIELDS-HILL and JANET WATTLES serve as associate producers.
The writers are STEVE KOREN (Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld), MARK O'KEEFE (NewsRadio) and longtime Carrey/Shadyac collaborator STEVE OEDEKERK, a staff writer on In Living Color who later wrote Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (which he also directed) as well as Shadyac's hits The Nutty Professor and Patch Adams.
Jim Carrey is one of the world's most popular and versatile stars. Following early appearances as a stand up comedian and roles in features and TV, Carrey broke out in the 1990 comedy series In Living Color-in which he per formed a vast array of characters-and then in the title role of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Since then, Carrey has starred in an unprecedented series of comedies and dramas, among them The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, The Cable Guy, Liar Liar, The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, Me, Myself and Irene, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Majestic.
Carrey won the Best Actor Golden Globe Award both for his performance as a man whose entire life has been broadcast live on television in Peter Weir's The Truman Show, and his stunning portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman's Man on the Moon. Carrey also received Golden Globe Best Actor nominations for The Mask, Liar Liar and The Grinch.
Jennifer Aniston was catapulted to international stardom as Rachel Green in the television ensemble comedy Friends. She has also starred in such feature films as Shes the One, Picture Perfect, 'Til There Was You, The Object of My Affection, Office Space and Rock Star. Recently, she received rave reviews for her starring role in Miguel Arteta's independent film The Good Girl.
Morgan Freeman, one of America's most distinguished actors, has received Academy Award nominations for Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy (which brought him a Golden GlobeAward) and TheShawshank Redemption.
His numerous motion picture credits have also induded Glory, Amistad, Deep Impact, the hit thrillers k~ss the Girlsand its followup Along CameA Spider, Nurse Betty, High Crimes and The Sum of All Fears. He was recently seen in Lawrence Kasdan's Dreamcatcher, based on a work by Stephen King, and in the independent drama Levity, also starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kirstin Dunst and Holly Hunter
In addition to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Liar Liar, Tom Shadyac has also directed the smash hit The Nutty Professor, starring Eddie Murphy, the Golden Globe nominated hit Patch Adams, starring R'obin Wllliams and the super natural drama Dragonfly. He also executive-produced Murphy's return in the popular Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Bruce Almighty not only reunites Shadyac with all the filrn's producers, but also with the director's gifted team of behind-the-scenes artists, induding Academy Award~-winning director of photography DEAN SEMLER (Dances With Wolves, The Road Warrior, Nutty Professor II: The klumps, Dragon; production designer LINDA DeSCENNA (Patch Adams, Liar Liar, Dragonfly, Galaxy Quest); costume designer JUDY RUSKIN HOWELL (Patch Adams, Liar Liar, Born on the Fourth of July, Sleepless in Seattle); film editor SCOTT HILL (assistant editor of Liar Liar, Patch Adams and Dragonfly); composer JOHN DEBNEY (Liar Liar,
Only one actor could play a man suddenly endowed with the powers of God, with all of the comedic mayhem and heartful drama that ensues...Jim Carrey. The fundamental themes of Bruce Almighty were familiar territory to the two friends, who had spent many hours debating the Big Questions. "Jim is kind of a brother to me," notes Shadyac. "A little brother in some ways, and a big brother in other ways.
"We have a great friendship, and Bruce Almighty speaks to our concerns. What is this force called God? What is this force doing in our lives? How do we relate to it? Dragon TheScorpton King); and 2nd umt dlrector/stunt and narrator MICKEY GILBERT (The Nutty Professor).
There are some marriages that are made in heaven - creative ones, that is - and no star and director are more suited for each other than Jim Carrey and Tom Shadyac.
Their first collaboration, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, firmly established Carrey as a star of the first magnitude, and Shadyac as a freshman director with a promising career.
The second time Carrey and Shadyac pooled their talents, the result was Universal's Liar Liar, one of the biggest hits of 1 997.
Thus, when Shadyac was first presented with the high and mighty concept for Bruce Almighty, it went to the Shadyac and Carrey were joined on their quest by Shady Acres partners and fellow producers Michael Bostick and James D. Brubaker, who had collaborated with both on Liar Liar, and were equally enthusiastic about the notion of bringing the story to cinematic life.
"Tom so personally responded to top of his development heap at Shady Acres its themes," says Bostick, "and based on his track Entertain-ment, his extremely busy production record, it representedaproject that'sso far in the Tom company.
And Shadyac knew from the first who he Shadyac wheelhouse. It's a star-driven, high-concept comedy that ultimately has a message about the human condition, which I think is a strand which runs through all his work."
Adds Jim Brubaker, "Tom's movies, whether comedies or dramas, are a little bit personal, a little bit spiritual and always about opening the heart."
Bostick also notes that "both Tom and Jim were coming off dramas and keenly interested in getting back into the comedy genre. Jim not only signed on as the star of Bruce Almigh~, but also as a producer, and he became intimately involved in the development of the script and then, creatively, every day on set."
As they kicked off pre-production, Shadyac, Bostidk and Brubaker began collecting a top-tier team of behind-the scenes artists, most ofthem returning to the fold after having worked with the director and/or the producers on previous projects; this stalwart group induded Oscar-winning director of photography Dean Semler, production designer Linda DeScenna, costume designer Judy Ruskin Howell, film editor Scott Hill, propmaster Brad Einhorn and many more to follow.
"Basically, our team are those who can adjust as fast as Tom can," states Brubaker. "You need that team together, because what you're looking for are people who can reinforce, be positive and take on any challenge."
Enthuses Shadyac about his team: "Dean Semler is a cinematographer who takes comedy seriously, but also has an incredible sense of humor. He's a great painter with light. Linda DeScenna brings a warmth, richness and reality to her sets that allow your actors to live in a space.
Judy Ruskin Howell thinks about character and symbolism while she designs the costumes, little things that you normally wouldn't notice.
On a Jim Carrey movie, the propmaster is at times just as important as the director, because Jim loves working with 'toys,' which give him ideas. I would delay a major decision in my life for Brad Einhorn, our propmaster.
He's that good. It became a game on the set to try and trip up Brad. Jim and I would ask him for all kinds of outrageous things, and he would just say 'Okay, give me a couple of hours,' and come up with it. Everything of mass and substance that exists in the world is in Brad Einhorn's prop truck!"
And then there was the rnatter of who would join Jim Carr~ in front of the camera, particularly for the crucial roles of Grace, Bruce's devoted but strong-minded girlfriend, and the one who's single handedly responsible for Bruce's powers...the Big Man himself...God.
"I hate to use the cliche," says Shadyac, "but Jennifer Aniston is one of the hottest people in show business. You can count on one hand the number of people, male or female, who can give you beauty, strength, intelligence, vulnerability and a sense of hurnor in one package. Jen's character, Grace, is not passive. She's strong, and that's why we wanted JennifeL"
Adds producer Michael Bostick, "Jennifer has been in Arnerica's living roorns for nine years as Rachel on Friends, and I think that people will be thrilled to see her on the big screen with Jim. Jennifer's comic timing is impeccable, and she also brings an emotional weight to her characters."
Aniston herself had no doubts about v~anting to play Grace when Tom Shadyac first approached her with the idea. "Tom pitched a fantastic story which I found very moving. I just thought it was great. It's hard to infuse spirituality into a bold commercial movie, and that's what Tom and the writers have done without hitting you over the head with it."
Shadyac and Carrey were also challenged with another Big Question. Who should ...who could...play God? "When this script came to me," recalls the director, "only one guy popped into my head. It was always Morgan Freeman.
"There are a million ways to play God," Shadyac continues. "You can talk from a burning bush, or a mountain, or a sunset. Our way was to find a consummate hurnan who is full of dignity, power, a sense of humor and an edge. Morgan embodied humanity and divinity in a way that we felt was perfect for the movie, so we didn't have a second choice."
Thankfully, Morgan Freeman felt the same way, and the BruceAlmighty company found God.
To circle around this talented triumvirate of Carrey, Anistorr and Freeman, Shadyac then cast a number of highly talented performers from every strata of film, television and theatre, including Lisa Ann Walter from The Parent Trap, JAGs beauteous Catherine Bell, the dis-tinguished dlaracter actor Philip Baker Hall, the deft comedian Steve Carell from The Daily Show, Nora Dunn of Saturday Night Live fame and Golden Globe Award winner Sally Kirkland, an all media future.
Ironically, for the role of the lonely diner waitress, the Bruce Almighty screenplay called for "a Sally Kirkland type," a casting problem solvcd by Shadyac simply summoning forth the real artide, with Kirkland only too happy to comply.
"Jim and I have always felt that it's really important to ground your comedy in credibility," notes Shadyac. "Even though you may have a fanciful premise, when you have people like we do in the cast, you win your credibility factor."
Shadyac said "Jim Carrey and I are both seekers, and we're constantly asking 'Where is God?' We hope that the movie says that God is right here... in each and y every one of us."
Concludes Shadyac, "The questions that we ask lt in the movie have been asked by mystics, sages, saints and the common man since the dawn of time. And frankly, we don't have the answers. We're not out there to make dogmatic statements, we're out there to solicit questions, to give an entertaining experience. A modern is day parable, if you will...with a sense of humor."
Carrey recently wrapped production on the drama Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind opposite Kate Winslet. In the film, Carrey stars as Joel, a man who is stunned to discover that his girlfriend Clementine Kate Winslet, has had her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased.
Out of desperation, he contacts the inventor of the process, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), to have Clementine removed from his own memory. But as Joel's memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover their earlier passion. From deep within the recesses of his brain, Joel attempts to escape the procedure.
As Dr. Mierzwiak and his crew (Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood) chase him through the maze of his memories, it's clear that Joel just can't get Clementine out of his head. The film, written by Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation) and directed by Michael Gondry (Human Nature) is scheduled for a fall 2003 release.
Carrey will begin production this fall on the film Lemony Snickets A Series Of Unfortunate Events based on the children's book series by Daniel Hadler. In the film, to be directed by Brad Silberling (Casper), Carrey will star as the evil Count Olaf. It is tentatively scheduled for a release during the 2004 holiday season.
Carrey also recently signed on to make his animated feature film debut in the computer animated project Over The Hedge. In the film, Carrey will provide the voice for a mischievous con artist raccoon named R.J., opposite co-star Garry Shandling, who will voice a sensitive turtle named Verne.
The film follows the story of what happens to Verne and R.J. when a suburban housing development encroaches on their home in the forest. Based on a popular comic strip of the same name, the movie is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2005.
Carrey was last seen on screen starring in the 2001 feature The Majestic, directed by Frank Darabont. In 2000 Carrey had the distinction of appearing in the year's highest grossing film; the Universal Pictures' release Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas. H
e was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of "Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" for his portrayal of the Grinch, as well as a People's Choice Award in the category of "Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy." He also won an MTV Movie Award in the category of "Best Villain" for the film.
In the summer of 2000, Carrey reunited with directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly for the comedy Me, MyselfAnd Irene, for which he received an MTV Movie Award nomination in the category of "Best Comedic Performance" for his portrayal of a split personality in the film.
He also won the Golden Globe in 2000 for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy" for his portrayal of Andy Kaufman in the film Man On The Moon. He had won a Golden Globe Award the previous year for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama" for his role in the critically acclaimed film The Truman Show. The 1999 Golden Globe win marked Carrey's first award for a dramatic role.
He also received a Golden Globe nomination in 1997 for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" for Liar, Liar, the same category in which he was nominated in 1995 for The Mask. In 2000, he was named "Male Star of the Year" at ShoWest.
Born January 17, 1962 in Newmarket, Ontario, Jim Carrey knew by age three that show business was in his blood. At age 15, Carrey took off for Toronto to perform at Yuk Yuks, the famous comedy club. Following the performance, Carrey's career took off and for the next few years he worked in comedy clubs all over Canada.
In 1981, at age 19, he packed his belongings and moved to Los Angeles. Carrey immediately became a regular at Mitzi Shore's Comedy Store, attracting the attention of comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield. Dangerfield was so impressed with the young comic that they began touring together. It was then that things began to happen for Jim Carrey.
1982 proved to be a magical year for Carrey when MTM cast him as the star of their NBC series Duck Factory. Although the series only lasted 13 weeks, Carrey's work left a lasting impression in Hollywood. The next year he landed the lead role in the feature film Once Bitten, starring Lauren Hutton. He followed that film with roles in Francis Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue GotMarried, and Geena Davis comedy Earth GirlsAre Easy.
In 1988, Carrey made a brief, but memorable, appearance as Johnny Squares, the self-destructive rock star in the Clint Eastwood film The Dead Pool.
In 1990, Carrey joined the cast of Fox Television's ensemble comedy hit In Living Color. In November of the following year, his first Showtime Special, entitled Jim Carrey's Unn~tur~l Act, premiered to rave reviews. He followed the special's success with a starring role as alcoholic trying to cope with life in Fox's Emmy nominated movie of the week Doing Time on Maple Drive.
In 1994, after several successful seasons on In Living Color, Carrey once again branched out into feature films by accepting the lead role in the comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Carrey's no-holds-barred portrayal of Ace Ventura made him an instant sensation and made the film a hit.
Carrey followed that success in the summer of 1994 by starring in the title role of the action-fantasy The Mask, based on the best-selling Dark Horse comic book series of the same name. The Mask went on to gross in excess of $100 million domestically, winning spectacular reviews for Carrey. Carrey starred as the Riddler/Edward Nygma in the 1995 blockbuster sequel Batman Forever.
The following year he went on to star in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, continuing the misadventures of the world's favorite pet detective, and then starred in The Cable Guy. Universal Pictures hit Liar, Liar, opened to record breaking numbers in 1997 earning over $100 million in ticket grosses. His triumphant triple play earned him the honor of "NATO/ShoWest Comedy Star of the Year."
Born in Sherman Oaks, California and raised in New York City, Jennifer Aniston (Grace) is a versatile actress who was exposed to acting at an early age by her fadher, John Aniston, who starred on NBC's daytime drama Days of Our Lives, and her godfadher, the late Telly Savalas.
Aniston currently stars in the hit NBC ensemble comedy Friends, along with Courteney Cox-Arquette, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow, now in its ninth season.
Her work as Rachel Green has earned her the Emmy Award for "Lead Actress in a Comedy," the 2003 Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy," two Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress and three People's Choice Awards for "Best Actress in a Comedy Series," as well as nominations for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Drama or Mini-series" and for a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Best Actress in a Comedy."
In addition to dhe massive success she has achieved on the small screen, Aniston continues to branch out widh very different roles on dhe silver screen. Most recendy, Aniston starred in Miguel Arteta's (Chuck Buck) film The Good Girl, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly and Zooey Deschanel, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
The film made its debut to rave reviews at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and opened dheatrically in August to equally enthusiastic notices and great box office success, and Rock Star, opposite Mark Wahlberg and directed by Stephen Herek.
Aniston's film credits indude: Shes The One opposite director Ed Burns and Cameron Diaz; Picture Perfect opposite Kevin Bacon and Olympia Dukakis, directed by Glenn Gordon Caron; 'Til There Was You, with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dylan McDermott; and the critlcally praised The Object of My Affection opposite Paul Rudd. Her other film credits include Office Space and Dreams for an Insomniac.
Following the completion of her work in Bruce Almighty, Aniston immediately segued to a starring role in an untitled comedy for Universal Pictures with Ben Stiller, directed by John Hamburg.
Aniston, who is of Greek descent, spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family, but relocated to New York when her father landed a role on dhe daytime drama Love of Life. She had her first taste of acting at age 11 when she joined the Rudolf Steiner School's drama dub.
Her experience at the Rudolf Steiner School also helped Aniston develop a passion for art. At age 11, one of Aniston's paintings was selected to be on display in an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
She began her professional training as a drama student at New York's High School of the Performing Arts. After graduating in 1987, Aniston won roles in such Off-Broadway productions as For Dear Life at New York's Public Theater and Dancing on Checkers Grave.
In 1989, she landed her first television role as a series regular on Molloy. Aniston's other television credits include series regular roles on The Edge, as well as Ferris Bueller, a recurring role in Hermans Head and guest-starring roles on such series as Quantum Leap and Burkes Law.
Aniston currenty resides in Los Angeles.
Freeman (God) became known nationally when he created the popular character Easy Reader on the highly praised public television children's show, The Electric Company . . . but he was already known in New York theatre circles for the critical
Freeman won the Drama Desk Award, the Clarence Derwent Award and received a Tony Award nomination for his outstanding performance in The Mighty Gents in 1978, and received more acclaim and an Obie Award for his appearance as the Shakespearean anti-hero, Coriolanus, at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
In 1984, Freeman won an additional Obie for his role as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer's Gospel at Colonus. In 1985, he was awarded the Dramalogue Award for the same role.
Then the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play DrivingMiss Daisywon him his third Obie Award. His most recent stage appearance was as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Delacorte Theatre, with Tracey Ullman.
Freeman's numerous television credits include NBC's The Atlanta Child Murders with Cicely Tyson and CBS' The Execution of Raymond Graham.
His extensive feature film credits include Brubaker, Eyewitness, Harry Sons, Teachers, Marie, That Was Then, This Is Now, Street Smart (for which he won the Los Angeles, New York and National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actor of 1987, and was nominated for both Golden Globe and Academy Awards), Clean and Sober, Johnny Handsome, Glory, Driving Miss Daisy (for which Freeman won his second Academy Award nomination as well as a Golden Globe Award and Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival in recreating the role that he created on stage) and Chain Reaction.
The Shawshank Redemption, a story of hope based on the Stephen King novel, won Freeman his third Academy Award~ nomination. He also starred in Steven Spielberg's Amistad as abolitionist Theodore Jackson, the adventure Hard Rain, as the President of the United States in the box office hit Deep Impactand opposite Ashley Judd in the highly successful thriller Kiss the Girls.
Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty, which saw Freeman performing with Chris Rock and Renee Zellweger, was released to critical acclaim in 2000. Freeman then reprised his Kiss the Girls role of Alex Cross in Along Came A Spider, which was a box office smash in the spring of 2001.
Most recently, Freeman again starred with Ashley Judd in Carl Franklin's High Crimes, performed opposite Ben Affleck in the hit action thriller The Sum of All Fears, based on the Tom Clancy novel; starred alongside BiIly Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst and Holly Hunter in the independent film Levity, which was selected to open the 2003 Sundance Film Festival; and performed in Dreamcatcher, also based on a work by Stephen King. He next stars in The Big Bounce, a thriller based on a novel by Elmore Leonard.
In 1993, Freeman made his feature directorial debut with Bopha./ starring Danny Glover and Alfre Woodard, and soon after formed Revelations Entertainment, a production company developing entertainment product in all existing and emerging media that "enlightens, inspires and glorifies the human experience."
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Bruce Almighty (Widescreen Edition)
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