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While MacGruber wasn't a hit at the box office or with critics, the action-comedy's reputation has grown in the years since its release. But could fan fervor lead to MacGruber 2? It's would-be star Will Forte weighs in.
While promoting his upcoming release Life of Crime, Will Forte offered an update on the development of MacGruber 2. Speaking to Collider, he said:
"I’m very proud of that movie. (Director) Jorma [Taccone] just sent an outline for MacGruber 2. We had worked together on something and I had fleshed out the first act of MacGruber 2. He took that and went nuts on the rest of it. I’m very excited because I feel like at some point, if somebody will let us do it, then we’ll do it. But it’s out of our hands. But we’re writing it for sure."
To be perfectly frank, the first MacGruber was a movie that on paper looked like a horrible idea. A feature-length film based on a funny but repetitive Saturday Night Live sketch? This seemed sure to be closer to It's Pat than The Blues Brothers. Basically, MacGruber shouldn’t have worked. And in traditional terms, it didn't.
MGM spent only $10 million to get the movie made with Will Forte, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillipe and pre-Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. But the $10-million comedy only played in theaters for three weeks, pulling in $8.5 million. Critics were rough, with The New York Times A.O. Scott asking outright, "Why does this exist?" But once the dust settled, comedy fans began singing the praises of this misunderstood effort, recognizing it for the crazy diamond it is. And before long, Forte was being asked about the possibility of a sequel.
MacGruber director Jorma Taccone first confessed that MacGruber 2 was a consideration in the spring of 2012. But shortly thereafter, Forte shut down sequel talk, explaining, "We're proud of it, and we jokingly talk about the sequel all the time. But I don't think anybody in their right mind would give us any money for it."
This seems to be a refrain he's repeating now, but with more hope behind it. By the following year, Will Forte was feeling good about MacGruber 2 once, more, declaring: "We are going to make MacGruber 2 for sure. Whether we have to do it with a video camera in our backyards – there will be some form of MacGruber 2."
For the time being, it seems financing MacGruber 2 is not an immediate concern as Forte and Taccone as still knitting together a script. But once it's complete, they could have a decent pitch. First off, Kristen Wiig has become considerably more famous since MacGruber hit. So if she'd sign on, they'd have some notable box office drawing power. And if these funny filmmakers want to prove to a producer that their sequel has an audience, they could go the route of Kickstarter, like Veronica Mars did.
Some creative casting and fundraising could make MacGruber 2 a reality. But regardless, it sounds like it's one that's still a ways off.