You probably remember Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. They were two enormous comedy hits starring Jim Carrey as a pet detective of all things back in the mid-1990s. They pushed Carrey to ultra-super-stardom, raked in nearly $200 million between them, and spawned television shows and legions of fans… everything except another sequel. Could one be on the way? Could the rumors be true?
Don’t we want more of these lines from Pet Detective?
“All righty then!”
“Do NOT go in there!”
Or these from When Nature Calls?
“You know, you could poke somebody’s eye out with that thing”
“Little hot in these Rhinos!”
The ‘Ace Ventura’ Franchise
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls were released in 1994 and 1995, and earned $72.2 million and $108.4 million respectively. They also elevated Jim Carrey — by then already a comedy star — into a whole other stratosphere, especially combined with other films like The Mask and Dumb and Dumber.
In Pet Detective, Carrey played a pet detective hired to investigate the kidnapping of the Miami Dolphins’ mascot, then the kidnapping of Miami Dolphins players including Dan Marino. Remember who played the role of the Dolphins’ rep? Courtney Cox of Friends fame. As When Nature Calls began, Ventura was happily retired to a meditative retreat in the Himalayas but left that solitude to retrieve a white bat from an African village after it had been part of the dowry for a royal wedding. Unless Ace succeeded, civil war would — obviously — erupt. No spoilers here!
So, to summarize. Big time star. Big-time earnings. Nearly 25 years since the last movie. All of that begs the obvious question: Will there be a Pet Detective 3?
There’s More To It Than You Might Have Realized
Believe it or not, the comedy franchise didn’t end with When Nature Calls. In 2009, there was a television movie called Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. From 1995 to 2000, there was an animated television series, also called Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. And in 1996, there was a video game based on that animated show, also called — wait for it — Ace Ventura. It’s fair to say that those attempts to sustain the franchise did not have the same impact as the original flicks and that Carrey’s absence was a big part of the problem.
So, Sequel Or No?
Studios seem to be interested in having Carrey, who is still a star albeit off the radar a bit lately while growing an epic Letterman-esque beard, return to prior roles. It’s been reported that Warner Bros. wants to do another movie featuring zero Stanley Ipkiss, who was transformed to hero by a Norse mask in The Mask… and earned $351 million in the process.
Given that trend, another Pet Ventura move seems like a slam dunk no brainer. But surely not without Carrey?
Carrey has seemed reluctant to character do-overs in the past, but has reportedly indicated some interest in returning to the Ace Ventura universe. The producers of the first two movies, Morgan Creek Productions and Warner Bros. (yes, the same Warner Bros. who produced The Mask!), have reportedly been in talks about doing a third Ace Ventura film.
None of that seems very clear-cut or definitive, does it? Well, there is this. Ace Ventura producer Morgan Creek has tweeted eye and heart emojis in response to stories about a possible third movie, and has even re-tweeted an article on the very topic. That means it’s in the bag, right? We can only hope. (Jim Carrey’s Twitter feed seems silent on the topic, but no news is good news, right?)
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