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.
“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.”
Yesterday Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Jim & Andy was edited by September Club working with Vice Documentary Films.
“Man on the Moon” remains one of the most misunderstood great movies of the ’90s (a lot of people just saw it as Carrey doing Kaufman’s greatest hits), because it’s really about how Andy Kaufman sacrificed his identity to showbiz — and, in doing so, became a herald
for the age when entertainment would consume everything in its path, from our dreams to our identities. When Kaufman wrestled women, coming on like Bobby Riggs on steroids and taunting the redneck crowds who turned out to see him, was it a put-on or was it a deep-down reflection of “the real Andy”? Actually, it was the real Andy pretending to be what he hated, and realizing that he loved being that way, but mostly because of the reaction it provoked.
Except that he cherished that reaction more than anything, so maybe it was the real him. Or maybe there was no real him. In one of the greatest scenes in “Man on the Moon,” Carrey, as Kaufman, as Tony Clifton gets up on stage and does his unspeakable rendition of “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” It’s bottom-of-the-barrel sentimental showbiz hooey, but it’s all built around a conundrum: Who, exactly, is me? “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” shows you that the answer is a grand illusion.”