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Toronto: Netflix Buys Jim Carrey’s Andy Kaufman Documentary ‘Jim & Andy’

Netflix has bought worldwide rights to “Jim & Andy,” Chris Smith’s documentary about Jim Carrey’s portrayal of comedian Andy Kaufman.

The deal was announced Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie uses approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of “Man on the Moon” documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months.

The Vice Documentary Films production premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is produced by Spike Jonze, and Vice Films’ Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald.

Milos Forman cast Carrey to play Kaufman in the 1999 movie, during which Carrey “became” Andy and, alternately, Tony Clifton, Kaufman’s obnoxious lounge singer alter ego. Carrey’s acting took on a performance art quality during the film. He never broke character on set, the cast and the crew referred to him as either ‘Andy’ or ‘Tony’ depending on who he was embodying.

In “Jim & Andy,” Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes.

“For almost two decades this brilliant performance from Jim Carrey has resonated with audiences and fans of Kaufman’s, but the story behind the film – a true piece of entertainment history has remained largely unknown,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of original documentaries for Netflix. “Chris Smith and Spike Jonze have masterfully unearthed and explored Jim’s complex and artful creative process, hurling audiences right into the mind of a genius.”

The complete title is “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton.” Executive producers are Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Tony Clifton, Michael Kronish, Jim Czarnecki, and Nicole Montez.

“Vice is always focused on telling stories you can’t see anywhere else,  and Chris’ film is an incredibly humanistic deep-dive into the mind of a brilliant artist,” said Danny Gabai, exeutive creative director of Vice. “Chris, Spike and Jim have made a film that makes us question what we really want in the world, and we couldn’t be more excited that Netflix is bringing it to the world.”

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