Anchorman’s Adam McKay Drops F-Bombs While Sharing His Side Of The Story In Split With Will Ferrell

For years, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, who first worked together on Saturday Night Live, delivered popular comedy movies to the masses, including Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, alongside other accomplishments. like launching the Funny or Die website. Then in 2019, McKay and Ferrell went their separate ways. Last month, Ferrell shared why the two aren’t working together anymore, and now McKay has given his side of the story, which paints a significantly more dramatic picture than what the Ron Burgundy actor had shared and involves the filmmaker having “fucked up.”

For those who missed Will Ferrell’s explanation in late October, he attributed his creative breakup with Adam McKay to simply having differing priorities. Ferrell said he didn’t have the “bandwidth” for the kind of producing endeavors McKay was interested in, but it sounded like the two had broken up on amicable terms. However, during an extensive interview with Vanity Fair, McKay revealed that it’s actually quite the opposite, and that he and Ferrell are no longer speaking to due an incident involving McKay’s upcoming limited series about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers team.

Why Adam McKay And Will Ferrell No Longer Work Together

Following the release of his Academy Award-nominated movie The Big Short, Adam McKay began considering dissolving his creative partnership with Will Ferrell so that he could tackle more projects he was interested in. The last time these two worked together was when McKay came aboard to try to “help on the edit” of Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s Holmes & Watson (a Gary Sanchez production), but by that point the 2019 movie “was just in rough shape.”

In 2015, Adam McKay fired his manager, Jimmy Miller, who also managed Will Ferrell, and in 2019, McKay departed Funny or Die after the website took a sponsorship from Shell Oil. That said, despite having talked with Ferrell on at least three occasions about breaking up Gary Sanchez Productions, McKay was hesitant to do so, as he was worried doing that would hurt Ferrell’s feelings. Nevertheless, supposedly tensions started building within the company between McKay’s people and Ferrell’s people, and then it all collapsed during the development of the aforementioned HBO limited series based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.

Although Adam McKay originally casted Will Ferrell to play Jerry Buss, who owned the Los Angeles Lakers in the ’80s, the actor was never his first choice for the role. As McKay explained:

The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic. And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, ‘We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.’ It was a bit of a hard discussion.

Instead, Adam McKay wanted John C. Reilly to play Jerry Buss, but he wanted to be respectful to Will Ferrell and not hurt his feelings. In the end though, McKay recast Reilly in the role and neglected to tell Ferrell ahead of time, and the actor was “infuriated.”

Where Adam McKay And Will Ferrell Stand Now

According to Adam McKay, the last time he and Will Ferrell spoke was in a phone call to confirm that they were breaking up Gary Sanchez Productions, and the conversation ended with Ferrell essentially telling him to “have a good life,” to which McKay thought, “Fuck, Ferrell’s never going to talk to me again.” McKay has since tried to reconnect with Ferrell over email, but he not received responses. After he acknowledged that he “fucked up” the way he handled replacing Ferrell on the HBO series, McKay said the following:

In my head, I was like, ‘We’ll let all this blow over. Six months to a year, we’ll sit down, we’ll laugh about it and go, It’s all business junk, who gives a shit? We worked together for 25 years. Are we really going to let this go away?’ [But Ferrell] took it as a way deeper hurt than I ever imagined and I tried to reach out to him, and I reminded him of some slights that were thrown my way that were never apologized for.

So as things stand now, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are no longer on speaking terms, despite the former’s attempts to patch things up. While it would be nice if these two could repair their relationship someday, like Bill Murray and Harold Ramis did before the latter’s passing, clearly the groundwork isn’t laid for that to happen anytime soon. As far as McKay’s show about the ‘80s Los Angeles Lakers, filming began in April and concluded at the end of October, but a premiere date hasn’t been set yet.

Adam McKay’s next movie, Don’t Look Up, premieres on Netflix December 24, while Will Ferrell recently finished shooting the Apple TV+ adaptation of A Christmas Carol called Spirited with Ryan Reynolds. Look through our 2022 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out next year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.