Cat vs. Grinch is an abandoned movie that would have been a crossover between the live-action Grinch and The Cat in the Hat films. Inspired by the box office success of Freddy vs. Jason in the summer of 2003, Universal got to work on various pitches that would’ve seen the Jim Carrey Grinch and the Mike Meyers Cat facing off, but a number of production hurdles kept the project from ever going anywhere. In other words, Cat vs. Grinch belongs on the list of “the greatest films never made.”
In the first pitch which is dated October 2003–roughly one month before The Cat in the Hat opened–there seems to be some confusion as to how the two characters would’ve been able to meet, given that Grinch boy lives in Who-Ville and Cat lives in “Alec Baldwin picks gunk out of his belly button land” or something. The story would have seen Grinch being reunited with his long-lost brother “The Grump”–a creature who ironically doesn’t live up to his name, since he’s so cheerful that he makes the Grinch “want to hurl out Who-hash.”
From here, everything gets a bit…convoluted. Grump informs Grinch of a magical Who-potion that could transform Grinch into a Who. Grinch has been feeling insecure about being so green and hairy (even though his horny wife Martha May loves that about him), so he tries it out…and turns into a “Who-man” instead, which is basically an excuse for Jim Carrey to not have to wear that hellish makeup anymore. Somehow, this leads to The Grinch finding The Cat in the Hat’s beloved Hat, which he becomes quite attached to.
Enter Cat (sans his Hat), who suddenly appears in Who-Ville and farts no less than 20 times (“I hate airline food,” the Cat says. I don’t get it either?). After finding out Grinch has his Hat–the source of his powers–he challenges Grinch to “A Zattle Battle” in order to get it back. Grinch offers just to return the hat, but Cats claims “that’s not how it works” (whatever that means) and so the two of them get ready for epic combat with each other. Finally the night of their big fight arrives, with the Grinch and Cat charging towards each other in the rain…only for the Cat to immediately pull out a rocket launcher, which he uses to blow the Grinch up. With Grinch dead, the Cat makes a wisecrack about how “he had his real hat at the cleaner’s all long” and then goes on to do an entire half hour of standup comedy (in which he makes jokes about everything from Hillary Clinton to farting because of airline food) before the end credits roll.
This treatment was quickly rejected (probably because it fucking sucked), resulting in a second draft being written. In this one–dated November 2003–Grinch does a heart transplant to save a dying Cindy Lou-Who, thinking the procedure will end him, but willing to do so for his friend. The surgeon–named Doctor Who–is astonished to find out that Grinch can live even without a heart, but at a terrible price, since this turns the Grinch into a being of pure evil, and he goes on a murdering rampage throughout Who-Ville before vanishing into the mountains.
Many years later, the new Mayor of Who-Ville (Samuel L. Jackson) keeps trying to reassure the population that the threat of the Grinch is over, but he’s also evil or whatever, because political corruption. The Grinch, meanwhile, is upset that the Whos are no longer afraid of him, and so he hires the Cat in the Hat to start killing on his behalf to get them to remember him. The Cat, unfortunately, proves to be more than Grinch bargained for, ruining “the Song of the Grinch” by filling it with bathroom humor (“One, two, Grinch is gonna go poo…”) and turning his once terrifying tale into a joke. Not surprisingly, this leads to Grinch and Cat deciding to have a fight for the Whos of Who-Ville (“Winner Grinches all!”), but just as they are charging at each other, the Cat pulls out a rocket launcher and immediately destroys Grinch with it. With Grinch dead, the last hour of the movie is centered around the Cat doing standup, making jokes about everything from Winona Ryder shoplifting to farting because of airline food. And speaking of farting, the evil Mayor is killed by the Cat passing wind in his face.
The treatment was also quickly trashed (it was seen as “too scary for kids”), resulting in a third and final pitch being written, this time dated March 2004. In this one, the Grinch wakes up one morning to find himself in “our world” for reasons that apparently never get explained. He meets a feisty teenager girl and her cat, and neither of them have Christmas spirit because they are orphans, so Grinchy befriends them so he can teach them the true meaning of the holiday season. If you think this sounds pretty stupid, then you’re right, but believe it or not, it gets dumber. You see, this would’ve turned into a “Grinch Saves Christmas” story, as Santa Claus gets kidnapped by a creature called “THE WHERE” who wants to suck all of the joy from earth. Or something. Eventually, Grinch joins forces with The Cat in the Hat to go on a quest to rescue Jolly Old St. Nick, but just as they are about to raid the South Pole where he is being held hostage, Cat pulls out a rocket launcher and kills Grinch. The last two hours of the movie are the Cat doing standup comedy, making jokes about everything from The Passion of the Christ to farting because of airline food.
In the end, Cat vs. Grinch just wasn’t meant to be, but it wasn’t just because studio heads couldn’t pick a treatment. It was also a budget issue. Mike Meyers reportedly wanted “$150 million, plus royalties” to reprise his role as Cat, while Jim Carrey said “he would rather die” than have to do the film. As a result, the company lost a lot of money developing toys, comic books, and video games for a movie that never got made. Could Cat vs Grinch still happen someday? Who knows.
Have a Grinchy day, y’all!
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