Don Knotts' ''The Incredible Mr. Limpet'' was almost remade with Jim Carrey in the lead role

Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles, was signed on, too!

CBS Television Distribution

Back in December 2013, comedian Patton Oswalt was a guest on the music, call-in, and comedy Internet radio show/podcast The Best Show with Tom Scharpling. Throughout the program, Oswalt told stories about movies and Hollywood and regaled the host with a true tale of one movie that never came to be: A canceled remake of Don Knotts' 1964 The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

According to Oswalt, a Limpet reboot was in development in 1998, with the project set to star Jim Carrey, who was — at the time — an absolute box office behemoth.

Steve Odekerk, who directed the Jim Carrey smash Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, was brought on board to write and direct the Incredible Mr. Limpet remake, but backed out of the project in '99. That's when Pixar superstar-to-be director Brad Bird stepped in for a meeting to discuss directing the movie.

Here's Oswalt's recollection of a conversation he had with Bird about the project:

"They CG-animated a cartoony-looking fish that kinda looked like Jim Carrey. At that point, that's when you paid $25 million for Jim Carrey, period. That's what he costs. The studio realized, 'So, he's live-action for 10 minutes and then he's a cartoon and we just paid [$25 million]?' 

'98-'99 era Jim Carrey was untouchable. For the first time in his career, his work was reaching a critical consensus that rivaled his commercial success. He was in the midst of a run that would reinvent him as a comedic actor who could do serious roles. First with The Truman Show, and then again with Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey was in a new, cerebral stage in his career. He could charge studios whatever he wanted. 

Oswalt continues:

"They did this rig— remember in Monty Python's Meaning of Life, where they have the fish bodies? So they basically did that. It's a fish with just Jim Carrey's human face. They were showing Brad Bird 'cause they were like, "If we're paying for Jim Carrey, we're having his face the whole time no matter what.'

Bird, who worked with Patton Oswalt in Pixar's Ratatouille, confided to the comedian that the studio spent $10 million on the animation tests without ever making the eventual movie.

Cartoonist Bob Camp, who created sketches for the project, wrote on his website: "Lots of tests were done with Jim [Carrey] wearing a motion capture rig with several hundred mocap dots on his face to capture the expressiveness of his rubbery face." You can find many of those sketches here

"This film was to be a remake of the '60s live-action/animated picture starring Don Knotts," wrote Camp. "Sadly, the film was never made."

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BradBeall 1 month ago
First off - is there anybody who actually likes remakes? Remakes are what Hollywood has been doing for the past 30 years or so, because they're completely out of original ideas. They can't manage to come up with anything that appeals to a broad audience, so they just keep re-hashing the same stuff, and it seems that each time the result is less appealing than the one before. Sometimes they'll call it a "sequel", but how many times has the movie "King Kong" been re-made... at least 4 that I can remember. So glad that this never saw production!
MichaelVegas BradBeall 1 month ago
It all depends, I REALLY liked the Battlestar Galactica remake, the Invisible man remake and even the tom cruise Mummy remake, there have been some good ones, its just that there could be 10 remakes with only 3 being good so people complain that they all are bad
trogg888 1 month ago
Thank God they didn't remake my favorite don Knott's movie with that hammy overated Jim carey.i wouldn't have slept just knowing that was out there.don was a brilliant comedian and to remake a classic like limpett would have been criminal
Berrie030711 1 month ago
Definitely in the minority opinion, but that would've been a pretty cool movie. Particularly if it were made in the 90s.
Scott76112 1 month ago
When I was a kid, I loved "Mr. Limpet".

Not a great movie, but hey, I was a kid, and it was a movie for kids.

Don Knotts had a weird sincerity about becoming a fish, and he did! How cool is that?

Jim Carrey never had a sincere moment in his life. His OTT histrionics would have ruined that story and the minds of young children who saw it.

As for remakes, they're typically terrible. If a movie was good, why remake it, and if it wasn't, why put fresh lipstick on a pig?

Of course, there are exceptions -- "His Girl Friday" comes to mind, and I prefer the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair". But a steady stream of recycled movies is a sign of real weakness in the industry.

But you already knew that.
KawiVulc 1 month ago
Sometimes "almost" is a great thing. It's that Oswalt guy, though, haven't seen a lot of credibility there.
ecarfar 1 month ago
Thank God that was never made.
DoubleNaughtSpy ecarfar 1 month ago
Amen, brother, amen.
LalaLucy 1 month ago
Sigh. I despise the perpetuating of unnecessary remakes. I know Hollywood has been doing it to varying degrees of success a lot longer than we care to look at, but it seems the mentality behind it has changed in more recent times. It has become less about bringing something new to a story and more about tweaking to please the all too vocal minorities, lazy writing, and unabashed cash grabs. I love Jim Carrey and actually think if he were properly reined in, he might have lent a certain something to the character. (Think the every guy performance in The Truman Show versus the chewing-up-the-scenery of Ace Ventura.) However, very glad it did not happen. I could just imagine how much the Hollywood hacks would smut it up and spoil the charm of the original.🙄
trogg888 LalaLucy 1 month ago
Rein in Jim Jim Carey good luck on that one.i recently passed by that pet detective movie and watched about two minutes of it which is about all of him you can that guy ever got popular is beyond me
LalaLucy trogg888 1 month ago
I gotcha. Cannot disagree a bit on Ace Ventura. No use for those films. Hence why I reference The Truman Show. Also, see The Majestic. Hard to rein in, yes, but there is evidence it is possible.
healingmindn 1 month ago
That would have been excellent, but what would Jim charge today? All AI needs are voice and character samplings and would take care of the rest.
yilburger 1 month ago
I agree. Get some new material. Dodged a bullet there. That would have been an insult to Don Knotts who was the perfect Henry Limpet! I like Jim Carrey alot but let's face it, he is kind of scary looking in the photos by the talented Bob Camp of Ren and Stimpy.
Pj 1 month ago
No Jim Carey in Mr. Limpet! The movie is loved by so many people. No remakes. Don't you think they could come up with something new? No more remakes. Turn great movies into crap.
Pnut67 Pj 1 month ago
All because of the "political correctness" you are REQUIRED to inject into the original story lines. Otherwise, you ain't getting no movie made. I don't watch "reboots" or "remakes" because I know they are going to be injected with venom just to get the $$$
McGillahooala Pnut67 1 month ago
That about sums it up. Degenerates making propaganda films to promote the perversion of the day.
4thtroika 1 month ago
I might've watched it.
Scott76112 4thtroika 1 month ago
You would have had your choice of seats in the theater.
VernCaldwell 1 month ago
NOOOOOO!!!! Stop the remakes. Even sequels are horrible and have been for a very long time.
mugens VernCaldwell 1 month ago
They have been doing remakes since the silent era of movies. Yeah even classic films. Don't have to like them but might as well get used to it.
So you would rather see the 1910 or 1925 versions of The Wizard of Oz or the 1923 version of The Ten Commandments?
ecarfar Wiseguy70005 1 month ago
The remakes of recent times were awful, no comparison to remakes in the "talkie" era to the silent stuff.
KathleenDc 1 month ago
They need to stop remaking classics.
HoneyBee456 1 month ago
That’s all Hollyweird knows how to do anymore. All they do is remake old movies and the remakes aren’t ever good. Doesn’t anyone there have imagination? All the talented people are gone. I only watch the good movies and tv shows from days gone by
Who is that beauty? Looks like they are purring.
Thank you. That’s the real Honey Bee lol. She was laying in my lap and sleeping when I took her picture
MrsPhilHarris here’s the bigger picture
KJExpress HoneyBee456 1 month ago
What a sweet face. 😊😸
HoneyBee456 KJExpress 1 month ago
Thank you KJExpress
She is so beautiful! Love her markings.
Thank you so much MrsPhilHarris
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Never knew that there was going to be a remake! That may have been very interesting.
trogg888 Runeshaper 1 month ago
Yeah a throw up in your mouth kind of way
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
Jim Carrey was way too over-the-top for the role.
Bapa1 1 month ago
I would have liked to have seen that.
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