In 2001, Dreamworks Pictures released an animated film called Shrek. It followed an unlovable ogre, who’s peaceful swamp is disturbed by a bunch of fairy tale creatures when they’re forced out of their homes by the evil Lord Farquaad, who conspires to use Shrek to save a princess and become a king. The film was a critical and commercial hit, featuring a voice cast consisting of Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as his motor-mouthed companion Donkey, Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, and John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad. With development beginning in 1995, the film was a long time coming and a vindicating success. It was also nearly very different.
You see, Mike Myers was a replacement for the original actor who would bring the ogre to life. That actor was none other than Chris Farley, who in the late 90’s had recorded as much as 80-90% of his required dialogue before his death from a drug overdose in December of 1997. Since Farley’s performance couldn’t be completed, Dreamworks and the filmmakers ultimately decided to recast the role. Now, due to new interest in Farley and his career generated by the upcoming documentary I Am Chris Farley, some of the actor’s initial voice work from the film has resurfaced online.
See it below.
While the sample above has actually been online for the last couple of years (as pointed out by Nerdist), the impending airing of the documentary has seemingly spread the footage to a wider audience taking a more active interest in Farley and his work. Farley, clearly, would’ve made the final product of Shrek a very different film, since he seems to be using his own, unaltered speaking voice to give the character life. It’s a far different kind of Shrek than what we’re so accustomed to with Mike Myers and his Scottish accent, and gives the character a bit more perspective as a someone fallen on a burden that he must carry as opposed to a comically ornery ogre that seems more comedically playful. Farley’s Shrek sounds — as weird as it is to describe it this way — grounded.
I Am Chris Farley is scheduled to air on Monday, August 10th on Spike TV. Check your local listings for time and channel. For more news and tidbits in entertainment as they take shape, keep your eyes on GeekNation!
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