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Don't Be a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins: Check Out These 19 Secrets About Elf


“Elf” Brings Xmas Cheer 16 Years Later: E! News Rewind

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by spilling secrets about Elf for all to hear.

In 2003, Will Ferrell stole our hearts and reinvigorated our love for maple syrup and smiling when Elf debuted in theaters. Made for just $33 million, the Jon Favreau-directed feel-good comedy went on to gross over $220 million and, more importantly, has endured as a holiday classic for all these years. 

Ferrell’s turn as Buddy the Elf was his first film after leaving Saturday Night Live and found the actor interacting with animated whales and snowmen in the North Pole and hopping around New York City in yellow tights. And yet, somehow, it all worked.

But did you know that the role almost went to another actor? Or that one of Ferrell’s co-stars was concerned that his performance was “too over-the-top”? Talk about a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.

So take a journey with us through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops and then through the Lincoln Tunnel to check out these behind-the-scenes secrets about Elf

Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

1. The first script for Elf was actually written in 1993, with Jim Carrey in mind to play the titular Santa’s helper. Because it took over a decade for the film to finally be made, the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective star never ended up taking on the role. 

2. Elf was also initially intended to be a bit more sinister, with director Jon Favreau revealing to Rolling Stone,

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