Before His Death, Matthew Perry Had An Out-There Idea For A Semi-Autobiographical Movie In Which He Was A Superhero

Before his shocking death at 54, Matthew Perry seemed like he was gearing up for a comeback. He’d released a hit memoir, which not only had great stories but was bracingly honest about his struggles with addiction. Now we’re learning he had more big ideas, including one he pitched Anchorman and The Big Short director Adam McKay: a semi-autobiographical superhero movie.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Perry approached McKay while filming a small role in his climate change satire Don’t Look Up.

“It’s about this guy,” Perry said, according to McKay. “You’d recognize him. His name is Matt and he’s very famous and about 50 years old. His life is a little bit of a mess. He’s lost. Out of the blue a distant relative dies and leaves him $2 billion — and he uses to become a superhero.”

The movie was to be called Mattman, and it woud have starred Perry himself, in a role with some crossover with his real life.

McKay said he was fascinated by the pitch, though he countered with his own, less high-concept version, according to THR:

“My idea was just to do a show about being this incredibly popular, well-known TV guy who’s dealing with addiction,” McKay says. “Because the world has changed. You could actually do that show now. Ten years ago, people would have said you’re crazy. But now people can be more upfront about their mental health issues, their addiction issues, and it’s kind of wonderful.”

“Why don’t we just do a show that’s a fictional version of what you’ve struggled with,” he pressed on with his pitch to Perry. “The idea that everywhere you go, people yell your catchphrases a little bit of your past, the addiction, what it’s like, because everyone views you through this lens of this cheery, bright, multicolored show. And then, meanwhile, you’re a human being who’s dealing with real addiction, real pain. It could be an incredible show. It could be really funny. It could really affect people’s lives.”

Neither project ever materialized, but either version sounds like it would have been interesting. It seems Perry was still thinking about the idea before his death. In what became his final Instagram post, which featured a picture of him in his hot tub, the caption included the words “I’m Mattman.”

Perhaps Perry was influenced by the Oscar-winning Birdman, in which Michael Keaton played an actor who’d become famous playing a Batman-like superhero and was wrestling with that history. A handful of years later Keaton wound up playing Bruce Wayne all over again.

In the wake of Perry’s passing, many stories about him, previously not made public, emerged. For instance, he saved Friends from enraging its legion of fans after he put the kibosh on a controversial twist involving Chandler and Monica.

(Via THR)