“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 cracked an idea for a sequel that would bring back Carrey’s Bruce Nolan. In a recent interview with Syfy, Koren and O’Keefe revealed their plans for “Brucifer,” a “Bruce Almighty” sequel that would’ve found Carrey’s character gaining the powers of Satan instead of God.
In “Bruce Almighty,” Carrey played a stressed news reporter who gains 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 sequel, “Brucifer,” to producer Michael Bostick on the night “Bruce Almighty” opened in theaters in May 2003.
“[Jim Carrey’s] manager and him wanted to do ‘Brucifer,’” Koren said. “We went in and pitched it, but it never quite worked out, because it was later on … It would have been another giant movie and I don’t think they wanted to do it. It just didn’t work out for some reason, but a lot of people loved it, including Jim.”
The film would’ve found Bruce turning to the dark side after Aniston’s Grace dies. As Koren explained, “You tend to lose your faith when the world seems unfair, and that’s what got him. It came from a serious place, but we were gonna write it in a very friendly way. We certainly didn’t want to depress people. So I think that 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 everybody would connect with it.”
Bruce would’ve used his powers as Satan to bring Grace back from the dead, Koren said, adding, “I remember when we pitched it, [Jim] was laughing his ass 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 beautiful again.’ We thought that was brilliant.”
“It was going to be the Trials of Job, essentially,” O’Keefe added. “The world had not gone his way since he was God. Everything was great for a while; he was married and it all fell apart. He was once again questioning everything and then got a different way to solve things.”
O’Keefe later described ‘Brucifer’ as “the most cost-effective sequel imaginable” ands said, “Totally different themes, of course, but the beats everyone enjoys.”
“Brucifer” never made it past the pitch phase, but “Bruce Almighty” did end up getting a sequel anyway in the form of 2007’s “Evan Almighty.” That film expanded the character of Evan Baxter, played by Steve Carell, and turned him into a modern day Noah. “Evan Almighty” was a box office bomb with just $174 million worldwide.