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Although Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events has experienced a resurgence in popularity on Netflix, the franchise suffered a misfire in 2004 when Jim Carrey stepped in for the role of Count Olaf -- even becoming widely known as an infamous non-starter for a potentially great franchise. In fact, when asked to choose an actor to portray him in a live-action movie (which Jack Black did in 2015's Goosebumps), acclaimed author R.L. Stine revealed his concerns over such a task -- citing Jim Carrey's performance as the reason A Series of Unfortunate Events didn't work. Stine said:
We already know that R.L. Stine is not one to mince words when it comes to film adaptations of beloved book series, and this one is no different. With a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes and a worldwide box office gross of $209 million, A Series of Unfortunate Events wasn't necessarily unsuccessful when it debuted back in 2004. That said, the film is not a perfect interpretation of the source material, and Stine seems to think that much of the blame lies with Jim Carrey's misguided take on the character. It's not necessarily an indictment of Carrey's acting as a whole, but it's clear that Stine doesn't think he was right for the role.
Of course, we still don't know how R.L. Stine feels about the newer version of the franchise. The A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix series has generally received a better critical reception than the 2004 film with many vocal supporters citing Neil Patrick Harris' Count Olaf as a notable improvement.
That said, any comedian would have difficulty living up to the standard set by the man behind the A Series of Unfortunate Events books. R.L. Stine continued his explanation to EW and admitted that Lemony Snicket (a.k.a Daniel Handler) has a particular brand of humor that just can't be recreated on-screen, saying:
What are your thoughts on Jim Carrey's take on Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events? Do you think he "ruined" the character, or are you a fan? Let us know what you think in the comments and check out our 2017 movie premiere guide to keep yourself in the loop on all of this year's major theatrical releases!