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November 29, 2005
Tim Burton will direct actor Jim Carrey in a Paramount Pictures action-adventure based on the eccentric life of Leroy 'Robert' Ripley, the artist/explorer/newspaper columnist who created the syndicated comic strip "Ripley's Believe It or Not."
Screenplay is by "Ed Wood" writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander.
Premise of the film revolves around 'Ripley' (Carrey), previously married to a beauty queen and now a confirmed bachelor, basking in his celebrity status, while chronicling his search for the greatest oddities on the planet.
Ripley sold his first drawing to Life magazine when he was 14, then landed a job as a cartoonist covering sports for the San Francisco Chronicle, changing his name to 'Robert'.
In 1922 Ripley travelled to South America for the syndicated feature "Rambles Around South America".
In 1925, crossing through Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines, Ripley embraced Chinese culture and began to sign his cartoons as 'Rip Li!'.
His many houses became crammed with artifacts including wallhangings, totem poles and giant bronze statues.
Although he often used recording equipment for his CBS radio broadcasts, Ripley was afraid to use a telephone for fear he would be electrocuted.
He owned a Chinese sailing junk moored at B.I.O.N. Island, his estate in Mamaroneck, New York.
Throughout the 1930s-40s, Ripley gave lectures in vaudeville theaters.
A self-educated high school drop-out, Ripley received honorary university titles/college degrees and was the first newspaper cartoonist to become a millionaire.