If you’ve turned on your TV the past few weeks, there’s a pretty good chance you saw Will Ferrell running around in an elf suit causing mischief (and saving Christmas) in New York City. The 2003 holiday flick Elf is a modern classic, but it almost didn’t star Ferrell in that Santa-loving role of Buddy the elf.
As /Film notes, the film was originally developed with Jim Carrey in mind for the starring role. Though it hit the big screen in 2003, the film had been kicking around development for about a decade before that. In the early days, Carrey was coming off his 1990s hits Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber, and signed on to try his hand at a holiday flick. But when development stalled, he moved on (eventually making 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas).
Carrey was long gone by the time director Jon Favreau finally got Elf off the ground in the early 2000s, and Saturday Night Live alum Ferrell was a hot commodity, so a deal was struck. There’s no doubt Ferrell’s absurd, goofy approach was a perfect fit for Elf — though Carrey is also an expert at physical comedy. So, that version certainly could have worked in its own way.
What do you think? Could you imagine the film with Carrey in the starring role?