Mike Fleming

The news that Warner Bros exited Dumb And Dumber To is hardly surprising. The studio has hovered over this sequel package like a wet blanket since January, unable to decide what it wanted to do with the property that originated through its production label New Line. Warners execs have hemmed and hawed over whether to let someone else finance while they distributed, or let it go completely. That apathy finally led to Warner Bros bailing a few days ago. At Cannes, the project was being discussed a lot, and I’m told that Wolf Of Wall Street financier Red Granite is in first position to finance the film and sell foreign. That company launched in Cannes with a Kanye West concert and fireworks on the beach a couple of years ago with a solid sales team headed by Danny Dimbort. But everybody’s waiting for them to start committing to splashy projects beyond the Martin Scorsese-Leo DiCaprio stockbroker film. This might be the moment for Red Granite to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. There are about five distributors ready to take domestic. Keep an eye on Universal!

This for a sequel in the $35 million range. Like the original, Dumb And Dumber To is PG-13 and once again puts Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) on a road trip. Don’t be surprised if the Warner Bros exit makes all this gel quickly, as scheduling dictates that Daniels needs to do it soon before returning for his Aaron Sorkin HBO series The Newsroom. Carrey also has that bank heist comedy at Relativity with Jared Hess directing and Owen Wilson co-starring. To me, a Dumb & Dumber sequel with Carrey, Daniels and Peter and Bobby Farrelly deserves to see the light of day. I thought the original was such a fabulous display of physical comedy and was so funny that I actually took my kids to see New Line’s 2003 spinoff, Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. I don’t think the kids have forgiven me yet as, to steal that great line from Get Shorty, I’ve seen better film on teeth. Back then, Carrey, Daniels and the Farrellys were toying with the sequel idea but dropped it after New Line went the discount route. Maybe New Line never thought Carrey actually would go through with a sequel — he’s always had an aversion to them — but New Line cratered the franchise with that turd of a spinoff. I’d sure like to see the actual sequel from the Farrellys, and I think a lot of others would too, and the Warner Bros exit will help this finally happen.

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