One Step Brothers Scene Adam McKay Wishes He’d Kept In The Movie

Step Brothers Will Ferrell John C Reilly

Adam McKay's Step Brothers turns ten years old this year, which means that it's time to look back on the legacy of the comedy classic. Many of the film's scenes have become memorable in the decade since it hit theaters, but in a recent chat with CinemaBlend, McKay revealed a cut sequence from the original script that he would've kept in retrospect. Specifically, it would've involved Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) taking Dale (John C. Reilly) and Brennan (Will Ferrell) to a series of mental health professionals. As McKay explained:

We did have a scene in the movie initially that we cut out of the script before we even shot. It had the parents take them for testing, trying to figure out what was wrong with them. And I did a little bit regret cutting that because I liked the idea that it's like, they're not learning disabled. They're not. There's no cognitive issues. And then it goes to like a psychologist who's like, 'look, as far as I can tell, they just have no reason to want to live.' I always felt like if we had done that, it may shed a little bit more of a light on kind of the underlying point of view of the movie. Like, if we had had that scene in there... but I don't know if I'm quite calling that a regret, because I love the movie the way it turned out. But if there's one little thing, I think that could have been interesting to shoot that.

As the film stands now, it's never fully explained whether or not Dale and Brennan have something legitimately diagnosable that stunts their maturity. This cut scene would've established that Dale and Brennan were mentally and physically able to live normal adult lives, but they simply chose not to on the grounds of laziness and entitlement. Adam McKay obviously made sure to note that he still thinks the film works without those scenes, but he did concede that they would've offered a better "point of view" in hindsight. Of all the changes that could've been made to the movie (one of which included sending Dale and Brennan to Fallujah), this one makes plenty of sense.

All of this stemmed from Adam McKay's desire to tell a story about two men who encapsulate lazy "consumer culture." Elsewhere in his conversation with CinemaBlend, the Anchorman director addressed his core goal with Step Brothers and said:

It was always kind of inspired by this crazy consumer culture we live in where you see grown-ups who collect comics and play video games. To some degree, myself among them. And it's, it's just a thing like, my grandfather, I remember when I was 16 years old and I was reading Frank Miller comics, my grandfather was puzzled. He's just like, 'what are you doing?' My grandfather was in World War II. He boxed, he played football. Like he was just so baffled by it. So that was always one of the ideas about the movie, was that it was like the final product of this consumer culture was these men who never leave home and just are perpetual kids.

On that note, it's still entirely possible that a version of this scene could eventually make its way into the Step Brothers world. Adam McKay and Will Ferrell have talked about doing a sequel for years, and we even recently reported on Ferrell's idea of sending Dale and Brennan to a retirement home to live with their parents in Step Brothers 2. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but the basic description of the scene makes it seem like there's potential room for it in another movie.

CinemaBlend will bring you more exclusive content from our chat with Adam McKay in the days to come, so make sure to keep an eye out for all of our Step Brothers anniversary coverage. For now, head over to our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what other films the year has in store. As for McKay, you can check out his latest directorial effort when his Christian Bale-fronted Dick Cheney biopic, Backseat, debuts in December.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.