Was Anchorman 2 Killed By Its Own Stars?
When director Adam McKay announced via tweet that Anchorman 2 wasn’t happening, he seemed to be putting the blame on Paramount. The way McKay told it, Paramount passed on the project even after they “cut the budget down.” But maybe they didn’t cut the budget down all that much. Actually it may be that McKay and his stars priced themselves right out of the sequel.
When Collider talked to Will Ferrell on the subject, he had a someone different explanation for why the movie went down in flames. Ferrell says, “We warmed up to the idea and we were like “That could actually be a lot of fun” and we got everyone together and then they were basically like “Great! We can’t believe it! But you have to do it for this amount” and we were like “Oh, well there’s no way we can do it for that…”
It sounds like they did make some effort to cut down the budget. Ferrell says, “we would cut everything to do it,” but he also still says, “if you’re getting myself, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and probably a bunch of other people who would line up to be in that movie, it’s going to cost a certain amount.” According to Ferrell Paramount was up for doing Anchorman 2, McKay and his cast just didn’t want to do it for the amount the studio wanted to spend.
Ferrell’s statements match up with more recent information from McKay. Talking to our own Eric E. a few weeks ago here McKay seemed more complementary towards Paramount than he was initially, explaining the death of Anchorman 2 as a more vague, mutual failure to work out “the numbers.”
That is, of course, the biggest reason why we though this project was doomed all along. When Anchorman was made almost none of the cast had really hit it big yet. Now they’re all famous, and expensive. From the way they talked about the project, you might have assumed they were willing to take a pay cut and that Paramount was just being stubborn, but maybe they weren’t actually willing to take such a big pay cut and maybe Paramount wasn’t being quite as pigheaded as McKay’s original consternation over the death of the project made it seem.
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