Carrey takes ‘Almighty’ gig for U Pix, Shadyac

'Ace' crew reunites for super-powered laffer

Jim Carrey is set to star in “Bruce Almighty,” a Universal comedy that reteams him with “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” director Tom Shadyac and Steve Oedekerk, who has been rewriting the script. Shooting will start in July.

Carrey, Shadyac and Oedekerk began working together on the film in earnest last month (Daily Variety, Feb. 14), when Carrey became available after the Gary Ross-directed comedy often called “Dog Years” screeched to a halt. At that time, Universal, led by chairman Stacey Snider and production presidents Scott Stuber and Mary Parent, were eager to get Carrey into another film.

Carrey and Oedekerk wrote together on “In Living Color,” and Oedekerk also directed the “Ace Ventura” sequel.

Originally bought by U as a spec script by Steve Koren and Mark O’Keefe, “Bruce Almighty” is a whiny guy who questions once too often why God gives him so much grief. He is suddenly given almighty power for 24 hours to teach him how difficult it is to run the world. Comedy ensues as the guy misuses, then tries to harness his awesome power.

Carrey and Shadyac have been working with Oedekerk to rewrite the script, a three-man formula they employed during “Ace.” Carrey’s Pitbull banner will produce with Shadyac’s Shady Acres.

Carrey’s reps at UTA and Gold-Miller sealed his deal. Thesp will follow up by starring in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the USA Films pic reteaming “Human Nature” writer Charlie Kaufman and helmer Michel Gondry.

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