This month has brought Chris Farley back to the forefront thanks to the release of Brent Hodge and Derik Murray’s new documentary. It’s a softhearted homage that depicts Farley’s triumphant yet tragic career through archival footage and A-list interviews. As impressive as a retrospective as it is, however, the film fails to mention Farley’s final project. Prior to his drug overdose in 1997, Farley was cast to voice the titular character in DreamWorks’ Shrek.
“Originally the Shrek character was a little bit more like Chris, like a humble, bumbling innocent guy,” Kevin Farley recently told Yahoo! of his brother’s portrayal. Chris recorded between 80%–90% of the film’s dialogue — however, following his death, filmmakers brought in his SNL cast mate Mike Myers as the new lead actor, and the rest was history.
Despite Farley’s omission from the final version of Shrek, audio and video still exist. In fact, an extended clip just recently leaked on Reddit, featuring dialogue between Farley and Eddie Murphy accompanied by storyboard drawings. As you’ll see, in addition to his voice, filmmakers would also revamp Shrek’s image to be more children’s friendly.