Anchorman’s Adam McKay Recalls The Anchorman 2 Stunt That Caused A ‘Really Scary’ Situation For Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 2
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

It’s been nearly two full decades since Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy captured pop culture. The legacy has continued to live on through quotes and references. The first film’s cult status led to the sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues being released years later. Anchorman 2 director Adam McKay watched the sequel come together – both in good and bad moments. The filmmaker recently recalled an Anchorman 2 stunt putting leading star Will Ferrell in a scary situation.

Anchorman 2 followed in the footsteps of his predecessor with its hijinks and satire. Of course, with any Will Ferrell film, physical stunts were part of the humor. Adam McKay oversaw the funny sequel, but everything didn’t go as smoothly as he wanted. Thinking about the recent accident on Rust jogged McKay’s memory about a scary incident while making the sequel. The Don’t Look Up director gave The Hollywood Reporter a story about how an Anchorman 2 stunt going wrong informed his approach to on-set safety protocols:

We’re always really careful. I always give an extra speech at the beginning. We had like a near accident on the set of Anchorman 2. It was involving Will, and it was really scary. It was a scene where Ron Burgundy was going to hang himself. It was a silly joke. For a half a second, the rig didn’t operate properly and there was actual tension on the rope, but then it gave way and Will was OK. Thank God no one was hurt. We were sick about it for two days. We said, ‘All right, let’s stop. Let’s have a meeting.’

The Big Short director’s recount made the low point in Ron Burgundy’s life feel more serious than in the film. As any devoted fan will recall, Burgundy attempted suicide after losing his job at Sea World. While the result was hilarious, knowing how close Will Ferrell was to death gave the scene a unique perspective. His revelation proved set accidents happen more often than fans are made aware. As Adam McKay said, Ferrell and no one else were hurt seriously, and the filmmaker was able to come together with the cast and crew and discuss better safety measures afterward.

But that wasn't the first time an incident went down while capturing the essence of Ron Burgundy. Adam McKay recalled the iconic bear scene in Anchorman almost going left as the animal hinted at charging toward Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate. So Ferrell had a close call with death twice, but at least McKay learned from both incidents for future projects.

Unfortunately, since the last Anchorman film dropped, McKay and Ferrell have gone their separate ways. Hopefully, the Vice director and the Eurovision Song Contest star will be able to set aside their differences and give the audience more Ron Burgundy in the future. To catch those now-dangerous scenes, you can watch Anchorman and Anchorman 2 on Prime Video.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).