Netflix has released the first trailer for Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, which will premiere globally on the streaming service Friday, November 17. While that's also the same day that Justice League hits theaters nationwide, this documentary won't exactly appeal to superhero fanboys, but for those who follow comedy lore, it's certainly shaping up to be a must-see film. This trailer comes just a month after Netflix acquired this Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere screening.
Director Chris Smith presents a fascinating deep dive into actor Jim Carrey's time spent portraying famed and complicated comedian Andy Kaufman. Using approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Man on the Moon documenting Carrey's transformation into Kaufman for four months, the new trailer for this Netflix documentary features interview footage with Jim Carrey in present day, who reveals that Universal Pictures, the studio that distributed Man on the Moon in 1999, didn't want the behind-the-scenes footage to surface, "so that people didn't want to think I was an a--hole." The actor also revealed that he was looking out at the ocean when he learned that he won the role, and from that point forward, "Andy came back to make his movie," and all of the behind-the-scenes drama that happened was out of his control.
The trailer shows some of this never-before-seen footage, where you can see director Milos Forman referring to Jim Carrey as "Andy," since he never broke character throughout the entire production, with one instance showing the director pleading with his actor to give him a chance to "make his movie," with Jim/Andy replying that, "I don't need to make a movie." There are also behind-the-scenes interview snippets with Danny DeVito, who played Andy Kaufman's agent George Shapiro, revealing that Jim Carrey's performance is, "exactly the way Andy was," with Paul Giamatti, who played Andy's longtime comedy writer Bob Zmuda, stating that the whole experience is "totally surreal." The trailer also features the real Bob Zmuda stating that actors and/or crew members may sue the production for mental stress, along with a scene of Jim Carrey/Andy Kaufman throwing a chair at Jerry Lawler.
Jim Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production's most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy's former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda. 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 channelling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career. As the title reveals, there will also be a mention of Tony Clifton, the outrageous fictional character played by both Andy Kaufman and, at times, his writer Bob Zmuda and while there are some behind-the-scenes shots of Jim Carrey as Tony Clifton while on the set of Man on the Moon, it isn't known if we'll get to see Tony Clifton being interviewed in present day, although it's worth noting that Tony Clifton is actually listed as an executive producer on the movie.
Chris Smith has directed iconic documentaries such as American Movie, The Yes Men and Collapse. Jim & Andy is a Netflix original documentary and VICE Documentary Films production, produced by Academy Award-winner Spike Jonze, and VICE Films' Danny Gabai and Brendan FitzGerald. Take a look at the new trailer below, courtesy of Netflix YouTube.