[UPDATE: We have the Farrellys' explanation for Lawrence's absence.]
This weekend, comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To will hit theaters 20 years after its predecessor did, which is more than enough reason for fans to be excited about its arrival. Seeing Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels work together with impeccable chemistry in their iconic roles will be the main reason moviegoers show up, but comedic films are always fun for the cameos they sport (see: the Jump Street movies), which keep eagle-eyed viewers on the hunt for more famous people.
Dumb and Dumber To isn't without a few cameos, but one that made headlines last year was the one Jennifer Lawrence was set up for. The Oscar-winning actress, who is a self-proclaimed fan of the first film, was reportedly on board to portray a younger version of the character Fraida Felcher (Tina Turner) in a flashback sequence, but Lawrence won't be seen in the final product - allegedly having nixed her bit part in the followup.
THR broke the story, saying that while Lawrence filmed her scene, she had the right to veto the cameo if she so chose, and apparently she exercised that clause when Dumb and Dumber To was being put together. Directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly and Lawrence's reps all deny that the actress was responsible for the content ending up on the cutting room floor, but no matter the circumstances, she's not in it.
It's not really news to find out that certain scenes have been removed from a final cut, since this happens no matter what the project is - but it is somewhat interesting due to Lawrence's stature as one of the most popular talents in Hollywood today. The film's expected to do fine box office wise, but the presence of a big star like Lawrence (even for one small scene) might have drawn the uninitiated to Dumb and Dumber To - if only to see the actress in a different light.
UPDATE: In our interview with the Farrelly brothers, they state that scheduling issues prevented the cameo from even happening in the first place, yet alone be cut out of the movie. Here are the quotes from Bobby and Peter Farrelly, on the matter.
Bobby: She was down in Atlanta making a movie too when we were down there, but it just didn’t work. We would love to do a movie with Jennifer one day.
Peter: It was close to happening.
Bobby: We were talking about her for a much bigger part, but we couldn’t pull it off.
Peter: Yeah because she was doing Hunger Games down there and we were all around each other. She’s a huge fan of the first one, we went out to dinner with her and Jeff one night and everything Jeff said, she was like, “Oh my gosh you sounded just like Harry there! Say that again!” She was fascinated by it, so there was talk about it but it was complicated. She’s such a superstar and you know, agents.
[The remainder of this article is as it was originally written. - Ed.]
What's more is that the young Felcher remained in the theatrical version, but only as a stand-in's back and nothing else. Her character was obviously important enough to include in the movie we'll all see, so this adds validity to the belief that Lawrence axed herself out after seeing it. We doubt the filmmakers would do that themselves.
The question then remains, why would Lawrence make this move, considering she admits to enjoying Dumb and Dumber? The most obvious reason would be a fear of a damaged reputation. In the past couple of years, Lawrence has skyrocketed to superstardom with critically-acclaimed turns in Oscar nominees like Silver Linings Playbook (for which she won Best Actress) as well as taking part in major franchises such as The Hunger Games and X-Men. The original Dumb and Dumber is viewed as a '90s comedy classic, but the early reception for its delayed sequel isn't as strong.
That said, Lawrence is such a hot commodity right now that even a minor association with one poor movie isn't going to cause her stock to plummet. Her frequent co-star Bradley Cooper was game for a couple of maligned Hangover sequels and was still a major player on the awards circuit the last two years. He's now a respected actor and earning more buzz for his performance in this year's American Sniper, so people have illustrated they will forgive a blip on the radar every once in a while.
Whatever the reason, those looking forward to seeing the fan-favorite actress in Dumb and Dumber To this holiday season will surely be disappointed. Even though her appearance would have been brief, Lawrence is always a welcome and worthy addition to any cast. But fans shouldn't be too upset, as another noteworthy individual will be there to entertain you...
Dumb and Dumber To will be in theaters November 14.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.