Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey

'The Mask' director Chuck Russell has revealed that New Line originally wanted the madcap family film to be a horror in the same style as the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series.

The 1994 movie, starring Hollywood funnyman Jim Carrey and a young Cameron Diaz, was a huge box office hit, reported Femalefirst.

"It's a great example of really fighting for your vision in a film. We changed it from a horror film into a comedy. It was original conceived as being a horror film. That was a real battle. New Line wanted a new kind of Freddy (Krueger) movie," Russell said.

The 59-year-old filmmaker said he always wanted Carrey, 55, for the lead role after watching him do a stand-up comedy routine in Los Angeles.

"He wasn't really desired as a leading man at that time. (When I saw) him he looked like a hallucination live on stage.

Jim read it and he said, 'I'll be doing this role at grocery store openings when I'm 70.'" Russell said.