“Bruce Almighty” remains one of Jim Carrey’s biggest hits with $484 million at the worldwide box office, so it’s no wonder co-screenwriters Steve Koren and Mark O’Keefe came up with an idea for a sequel that would bring back Carrey’s Bruce Nolan. In a recent interview with SyfyKoren and O’Keefe revealed their plans for ‘Brucifer’, a sequel to ‘Bruce Almighty’ in which Carrey’s character would gain the powers of Satan instead of God.
In “Bruce Almighty,” Carrey played a stressed-out news reporter who gets the powers of God (played by Morgan Freeman). Bruce’s newfound omnipotence complicates his relationship with girlfriend Grace (Aniston). Koren and O’Keefe said they pitched the “Brucefer” sequel to producer Michael Bostick the night “Bruce Almighty” hit theaters in May 2003.
“[Jim Carrey’s] manager and he wanted to do ‘Brucifer,'” Koren said. “We went in and pitched it, but it never quite worked out because it was later… It would have been another massive movie and I don’t think they wanted to do it. For some reason it just didn’t work out, but a lot of people loved it, including Jim.
The movie would have found Bruce turning to the dark side after Aniston’s Grace died. As Koren explained, “You tend to lose your faith when the world seems unfair, and that’s what got it. It came from a serious angle, but we wanted to write it in a very friendly way. We certainly didn’t want to depress people. So I guess scared [the studio] a little bit, but to Jim’s credit, he totally understood that we were going to make a big comedy and thought everyone would get something out of it.
Bruce would have used his powers as Satan to bring Grace back from the dead, Koren said, adding, “I remember when we pitched it, [Jim] laughed himself off. Because we had her come back as Jennifer Aniston. He said, “No, she has to look like a zombie first and then we’ll make her pretty again.” We thought that was brilliant.”
“It was actually going to be the Trials of Job,” O’Keefe added. “The world hadn’t run its course since he was God. Everything was great for a while; he was married and it all fell apart. He again questioned everything and then got another way of solving things.
O’Keefe later described ‘Brucifer’ as “the most cost-effective sequel imaginable” saying, “Completely different themes, of course, but the beats that everyone enjoys.”
“Brucefer” never made it past the pitch stage, but “Bruce Almighty” eventually got a sequel in the form of 2007’s “Evan Almighty.” That movie expanded the character of Evan Baxter, played by Steve Carell, and turned him into a modern Noah. “Evan Almighty” was a box office bomb with only $174 million worldwide.