Say the name Robert Ripley to the average passer-by on the street and chances are you’ll be greeted with blank looks. But add the words “Believe It Or Not”, and it’s likely their eyes will light up at the idea of towering men, pool ball-filled mouths and strange rituals.
Ripley was an adventurer and newspaper columnist who created the famous articles – which later became the basis for a series of attractions around the world. And now Jim Carrey is teaming up with Tim Burton to make his life story.
While most of us admit that we were expecting the rubber-faced one to turn up as an exhibit, he’s a solid match for Sir Burton Of Tim, who has done some of his best work with previous biopic Ed Wood.
The film will follow Ripley when he shot to fame for the “Believe” column, searching for strangeness across the world. But he’ll have to learn a life lesson about appreciating his human discoveries as – sigh now – people instead of fodder for his obsessive cataloguing.
Plans are afoot to start lensing in London next year for a late 2007 release, and the script’s now being scribbled by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, Hollywood’s go-to guys for biopics: they wrote both Ed Wood and Carrey’s last dabble with the genre, the Andy Kaufman chronicle Man On The Moon.