Chris Farley’s 1997 overdose was tragic for many reasons, not the least of which is that it cut short a movie career that was starting to take some interesting twists and turns. One of the more intriguing could’ve-beens is the fact that Farley was originally the voice of Shrek in the DreamWorks movie of the same name. In fact, a recent Yahoo! interview with brother Kevin Farley revealed that the late comic had “recorded nearly all of his character’s dialogue” prior to his death.
Naturally, the movie, which was eventually released in 2001 with Mike Myers assuming the green ogre’s voice, was different with Farley as the star. “Originally the Shrek character was a little bit more like Chris, like a humble, bumbling innocent guy,” Kevin Farley said. That version of the movie had been rather elusive until earlier this week, when Reddit unearthed a two-minute story reel of Farley and Eddie Murphy (as Donkey) running lines of dialogue atop crudely drawn storyboards. The clip (which was apparently uploaded to Vimeo in 2013 by John Garbett, who worked on the movie early on) is a bittersweet peek at what the cartoon might’ve been with Farley at the helm, as he seemingly brought a weathered and slightly introspective edge to the role.