Netflix may have lost out on the Margot Robbie movie I, Tonya but the streaming service wasted no time in snapping up two other hot Toronto titles — the Jim Carrey-Andy Kaufman documentary JIM & ANDY, and the Jason Sudeikis-Ed Harris dramedy KODACHROME.
Officially titled Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, Chris Smith’s documentary uses approximately 100 hours of footage that was shot by Andy’s former girlfriend (Lynne Margulies) and writing partner (Bob Zmuda) on the set of Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon in order to document Carrey’s four-month transformation into the complicated cult comedian that was Andy Kaufman
Carrey was cast as Kaufman in 1999 and he wasted no time in “becoming” Andy, and alternately, Tony Clifton, Kaufman’s obnoxious lounge singer alter ego. Carrey never broke character on set, and the cast and crew referred to him as either ‘Andy’ or ‘Tony’ depending on who he was embodying, having created complete and separate identities for each. Carrey went on to earn a Golden Globe for his performance.
In Jim & Andy, Carrey looks back at the 18-year-old footage and reflects on how he and Kaufman came up in oddly parallel universes and his experience channelling Andy and Tony, as well as the spiritual journey of his career.
The VICE Documentary Films production premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival and was produced by Oscar winner Spike Jonze, along with VICE Films’ Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald. Executive producers include Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Michael Kronish, Jim Czarnecki, Nicole Montez and of course, Tony Clifton.
“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.”
“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. 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,” said Gabai.
Meanwhile, Netflix plunked down around $4 million for Mark Raso’s Kodachrome, which finds Ed Harris and Jason Sudeikis playing a photographer father and his record exec son who embark on a road trip to Kansas, home of the last Kodachrome lab in the world, to develop some important rolls of film. Joining them along the way is Elizabeth Olsen, a welcome presence in any indie movie.
Jonathan Tropper wrote the script, which is based on a New York Times article by A.G. Sulzberger. The film was produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps banner and the Gotham Group, while CAA and WME negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief