Jim Carrey Turned Down a $4 Billion Franchise Gig to Make 10 Times Less Money

Jim Carrey Turned Down a $4 Billion Franchise Gig to Make 10 Times Less Money
Image credit: Legion-Media, Universal Studios

You should always choose with your heart, as Jim Carrey proved.


  • Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most commercially profitable franchises, having grossed a total of $4.5 billion.
  • The role of Jack Sparrow made Johnny Depp one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, earning him more than $300 million.
  • One of the most likely candidates for the role of Jack was Jim Carrey, who turned down the role in favor of Bruce Almighty.
  • For the role of Bruce, Carrey received $25 million, which is more than 10 times less than Depp earned for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Captain Jack Sparrow's chest is already worth 4.5 billion piastres which makes Pirates of the Caribbean one of the most successful franchises in history. Now it seems strange that the studio had no hope in Pirates of the Caribbean at all.

At the time of filming, the interest in the topic of sea wolves exploring the seas and projects based on attractions was somewhere in the depths of the ocean.

It wasn't until Disney found the perfect balance between action and comedy, then added mystery and used real facts about pirates without being a boring history lesson, that a pirate movie proved its viability.

Jim Carrey Turned Down a $4 Billion Franchise Gig to Make 10 Times Less Money - image 1

And then gave birth to an entire franchise that has gone down in cinematic history.

Jim Carrey Almost Got the Jack Sparrow Part...

It's no secret that Pirates of the Caribbean made Johnny Depp one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood – he reportedly earned more than $300 million for his role as Jack Sparrow.

Many actors including Michael Keaton, Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Jackman auditioned for the role of the eccentric pirate, but Jim Carrey came the closest to donning a red bandage on his head.

...But Decided to Star In Bruce Almighty

Jim Carrey Turned Down a $4 Billion Franchise Gig to Make 10 Times Less Money - image 2There's no doubt that with his comic talent he would have made Jack Sparrow no less iconic than Depp, but the actor himself refused to take part in The Curse of the Black Pearl in favor of the movie that would take a special place in his filmography and in the hearts of the viewers – Bruce Almighty.

The movie about a man who annoyed God with his prayers became the third collaboration between Carrey and director Tom Shadyac after Ace Ventura: Pet detective and Liar Liar.

The film grossed $484 million, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the actor's career, for which he reportedly received $25 million.

Using simple math, you can find out that Carrey lost a little less than $300 million with his decision to turn down the role of the pirate. However, he probably does not mind – the actor has a brilliant filmography with strong comedic and dramatic roles.

Besides, the actor once admitted that he does not like sequels, and considering how many there are in Pirates of the Caribbean, one can conclude that Carrey would have quickly lost interest in pirate adventures.

Although it's hard to find anything surprising and fresh in Bruce Almighty, it's still amazing to see how Jim's skill can turn the craziest plots into an undeniable classic – if it weren't for Jim Carrey, this movie would definitely be revisited much less often.