This version of Shrek sounds a whole lot like he was living in a van down by the river.
Uploaded to the Internet two years ago by someone who looks to have been a development producer on Shrek, but just recently discovered and put on YouTube, the video above features what sounds like the voice work that the late, great Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley recorded for the first iteration of DreamWorks’ 2001 movie Shrek. Though it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Farley’s former SNL co-star Mike Myers (and his faux-Scottish accent) in the role, it was actually Farley who was originally cast as the moody green ogre.
Farley had recorded nearly all of the dialogue before tragically dying of a drug overdose in 1997. And as the video purports to show, Farley’s interpretation was much different than what we’re used to hearing.
“Originally the Shrek character was a little bit more like Chris, like a humble, bumbling innocent guy,” Farley’s brother, Kevin Farley, recently told Yahoo Movies. Kevin Farley is the executive producer of I Am Chris Farley, a new documentary about his late brother. The video sample that has emerged focuses on an argument with Donkey, the sidekick that was voiced by Eddie Murphy. Farley’s Shrek may have been more innocent, but he was still pretty cranky.
Myers got the part after Farley’s passing. “I understand why [they replaced him],” Kevin said. “They probably wanted to make Shrek 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, so…” The original movie became a huge hit and spawned three sequels and a Puss in Boots spinoff.
Watch Kevin Farley talk about his brother’s Shrek: