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By now we all know that when Adam McKay directs a movie, particularly with funny people like Will Ferrell in the lead, he allows for a lot of improv, with some scenes going through 10 different jokes before settling on the one in the final cut. For most movies you'd never want to see the discarded versions of scenes… but Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy may be the rare, singular exception. McKay revealed to Empire, while walking them through the latest trailer, that his editor is currently working on a completely alternate version of the movie, made up entirely of alternate takes and jokes.
But if you've seen Wake Up Ron Burgundy, the companion film assembled from cut scenes and plots from Anchorman, don't expect the same thing. The second Anchorman cut, which McKay imagines as a midnight movie, would have the exact same plot as the official movie, just with alternate versions of every single joke. Here's how he describes it:
“We did so much improv on this one that we can literally replace every single joke in the movie and put in alt scenes and alt improv runs. I think the editor’s working on it right now, with 250 new jokes. I think it would be really funny to put it in theatres for midnight showings. I know that I personally, if I loved a movie and someone told me that, like if Airplane! had been released with all-new jokes, I’d be like, ‘you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!’ I’d see it in a second.”
I've witnessed firsthand how much good stuff McKay winds up leaving on the cutting room floor. While visiting the set of The Other Guys I watched Michael Keaton, Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. throw out all kinds of ideas, from Keaton's character pulling out quilting patterns instead of crime scene photos to Riggle and Wayans's cop characters on the verge of making out. It was way, way too much stuff for a scene that wound up lasting about 30 seconds in the finished film, but it wasn't hard to imagine a version that went another, totally weird direction.
So basically, it's a movie made up of outtakes-- but with an actual plot. Just as McKay says he would watch this version of Airplane! if someone offered it, I would watch this version of any one of McKay's films, Anchorman 2 included. Can we start the petition to get him to do this for Step Brothers next?