Netflix has picked up the worldwide rights to Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, directed by Chris Smith. The documentary features footage from behind the scenes of director Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon, the 1990 dramatic movie which starred Jim Carrey as actor/comedian Andy Kaufman. Smith had access to 100 hours of footage from the set, most of which was shot by Kaufman’s girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, and Kaufman’s former writing partner, Bob Zmuda. The footage shows how Carrey transformed into Andy Kaufman and what that transformation was like to witness behind the scenes.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, is a VICE Documentary Films production. Spike Jonze, Danny Gabai, and Brendan Fitzgerald produced the documentary, with Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Tony Clifton, Michael Kronish, Jim Czarnecki, and Nicole Montez executive producing.
“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,” stated 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 Danny Gabai, Executive Creative Director, VICE.
The Plot: In 1999 Milos Forman cast Jim Carrey to play cult comedian Andy Kaufman in his biopic Man on the Moon. What followed was an intensely bizarre and emotional film production. Surrounded by Kaufman’s friends and family on set, Carrey thoroughly ‘became’ Andy and, alternately, Tony Clifton, Kaufman’s obnoxious lounge singer alter ego. Much like Kaufman’s comedy, Carrey’s acting took on a performance art quality during the film. He never broke character on set, the cast and the crew referred to him as either ‘Andy’ or ‘Tony’ depending on who he was embodying (he had created complete and separate identities for each).
In Jim & Andy, Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channeling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career. The film brings viewers into the oddly unique experience and emotional journey of the making of Man on the Moon leaving them to determine where Andy Kaufman ends and Jim Carrey begins.