Will Ferrell Explains Why He And Anchorman's Adam McKay Split

For a few years, it seemed like Adam McKay and Will Ferrell were a match made in comedy heaven. The Anchorman writer-director and star teamed up several times and gave us some of the funniest movies of the 21st century. After they parted ways creatively, some fans may have wondered why -- and, now, Ferrell is explaining what caused the split. 

As co-writers, the pair had a streak of huge hits with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. In 2006, the director and actor founded Gary Sanchez Productions, which expanded their presence in the comedy world. The production company was behind everything from Eastbound and Down to Funny or Die. In 2014, it helped launch a female-focused spin-off company, Gloria Sanchez Productions. 

Given the sheer number of products Gary Sanchez Productions has going, it may have come as a surprise in 2019 when Adam McKay and Will Ferrell announced they were calling it quits on their formal creative partnership. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter that the move wasn’t the result of bad blood but rather a product of differing priorities: 

Adam was like, ‘I want to do this, and this, and this’; he wanted growth and a sphere of influence, and I was just like, ‘I don’t know, that sounds like a lot that I have to keep track of.’ To me, the potential of seeing a billboard, and being like: ‘Oh, we’re producing that?’ I don’t know. … At the end of the day, we just have different amounts of bandwidth.

In his conversation with THR, the beloved actor alluded to the fact that he’s not totally comfortable with building an empire of sorts. He turned down a huge payday for Elf 2, for example, because he didn’t want to make a film with a “rehashed premise.” That doesn’t mean Ferrell has stepped back from Hollywood altogether. As the trade points out, he’s been working behind the scenes and is producing plenty of projects, including HBO’s Succession. He’s also got a slew of upcoming projects where he’ll be front and center on screen, including the Apple+ series The Shrink Next Door, co-produced by Gloria Sanchez Productions. 

As for Adam McKay, he’s spent the last few years experimenting with his filmmaking. After trying his hand at politically-charged The Big Short and Vice, the latter of which was co-produced by Gary Sanchez Productions, he confessed that he was itching to return to making sillier comedies. His upcoming Netflix film, Don’t Look Up, could be a return to form in that respect. 

While the pair are no longer working together on their company, that doesn’t mean they’ll never collaborate again. Even though it’s been eight years since they teamed up on a film together, fans are still holding out for Step Brothers 2