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Netflix Acquires Carrey-Kaufman Documentary ‘Jim & Andy’

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to director Chris Smith’s Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond -- Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, about Jim Carrey’s time spent portraying complicated comedian Andy Kaufman. The film was acquired at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, a Vice Documentary Films production, uses approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Milos Forman biopic Man on the Moon, documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months. Spike Jonze produced the documentary along with Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald of Vice Films.

Surrounded by Kaufman’s friends and family on the set of Man on the Moon, Carrey thoroughly “became” Andy, says Netflix, and, alternately, Tony Clifton, Kaufman’s obnoxious lounge singer alter ego. Many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, but were captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda.

“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," said 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.”

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is executive produced by Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Tony Clifton, Michael Kronish, Jim Czarnecki and Nicole Montez.

"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.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.