Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show Is Originally Much Different And Darker

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

Jim Carrey in The Truman Show

As we celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the 1998 classic Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show, the scriptwriter Andrew Niccol sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to share how the plot was originally meant to be much darker and different than the movie we all know and love.

The Oscar-nominated writer wrote The Truman Show around the same time that he wrote and directed the 1997 sci-fi thriller Gattaca, and he admits that they were initially similar in their dark tones and drama.

Jim Carrey’s award-winning film The Truman Show went through over sixteen revisions, becoming lighter and more hopeful over time.

The Truman Show was released in 1998 and starred Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, the world’s first reality TV star. For 10,909 days, Truman’s peaceful life on Seahaven Island has been broadcast to the entire world, but he soon begins to realize that there is something greater beyond the counterfeit sky and water.

The film is a comedy-drama that is no doubt made lighter by Jim Carrey’s bubbly sense of humor and mannerisms, but it does make audiences question their reality and aspire to dream as big as Truman.

When Andrew Niccol first wrote the script for The Truman Show, it was supposed to be much darker and take place in an alternate version of New York City. But after sixteen revisions by director Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society), it became a brighter, more light-hearted film that takes place in an idyllic small town.

truman show
The Truman Show

One of the original scenes that was rewritten involved a subway passenger being attacked in an effort to see how courageous Truman could be. Another scene involved him being friends with a prostitute and even making her dress in a sweater that his love interest Sylvia left behind after their dramatic separation at the beach.

When Jim Carrey was cast to play Truman, Andrew Niccol wasn’t completely sure he was the right choice for the film since he was typecast as a comedic actor. However, Peter Weir knew that Jim Carrey could “elevate the story,” and it proved to be the right choice in the end.

Jim Carey adlibbed Truman’s famous catchphrase that also doubles as the perfect final line of the film.

The Dumb and Dumber actor even adlibbed Truman’s famous catchphrase that also doubles as the perfect final line of the film: “Good morning! And in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”

Back in 1998, Jim Carrey was best known for his comedic roles in movies like Liar Liar, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and The Cable Guy, but he showed off his dramatic acting chops in The Truman Show. In fact, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his role of Truman Burbank.

Today Jim Carrey Is Known For His Dramatic Roles

Since then, Jim Carrey has starred in other surprisingly dramatic roles in films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Love You Phillip Morris, and the mystery/thriller The Number 23. Last year, the actor announced that he was officially retiring from acting after his final role in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, claiming that he has “done enough.”

After all the laughter and tears he has brought us, we couldn’t agree more, but we will certainly miss his big smile and wacky antics.