Fun Facts About 'Anchorman 2' Per Writer-Director Adam McKay
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, one can tell how excited writer-director Adam McKay is about Paramount giving the greenlight to Anchorman 2. Due to budget issues, the sequel almost didn't happen until some serendipitous events allowed the movie to move forward. Head on over for the full interview or read on for the summary.
2004's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was Adam McKay's first feature film as a director. He wrote that comedy with fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Will Ferrell, who also starred as the title character.
With a budget of $26 million in hand, they were able to corral Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Fred Willard, and Christina Applegate to star in a spoof about the 1970s newsroom culture where a male news anchor feels threatened by his new female co-anchor.
Anchorman was a hit in States, but didn't perform well overseas. Out of the $91 million the movie made at the worldwide box office, only $5 million of that came from overseas which meant there's too much of a cultural divide to overcome.
Despite Anchorman's success, McKay and Ferrell never intended do to a sequel since they had so many ideas they would rather work on.
It's only when they're constantly bombarded by fans about Anchorman 2 that they'd finally considered it and only as a challenge to see if a sequel can be made.
They told Paramount president Adam Goodman about their interest in doing Anchorman 2 but when Paramount ran the numbers, they could only give them a $35 million budget to do the movie. It is interesting to note that when the studio computed the budget for the sequel, they only took into account the box office numbers and discount other sources of revenue like DVD and TV.
That $35 million figure gave them pause. As McKay explains it,
"'Wait a minute, if we do it for that, we're literally not getting paid!' And they [Paramount] weren't doing back end...I said, 'Look, we want to do it, we don't need to get rich off of it, but you've got to give us something!'"
Paramount stood their ground on that $35 million figure, and McKay and Ferrell went on other projects.
Years later, McKay was trying to set up a Will Ferrell/Vince Vaughn movie that fell through at Paramount due to, again, a low offer. According to McKay, this was this event that caused Paramount to reconsider the Anchorman sequel.
"I think they saw the numbers on the other one and were like, 'Wait a minute, if we're looking at these numbers for an original Will/Vince one, and we have this other franchise that's guaranteed to at least get you to here, why wouldn't we do this for just a little bit more?'"
McKay and Ferrell wanted a budget of $60 million for Anchorman 2, but settled for $50 million. Paramount's willingness to finally do a backend deal made the budget more palatable for McKay and Ferrell.
As for the primary cast members, no one's officially signed, but McKay's confident they can get them back.
Mckay and Ferrell will work on the script in the coming months and they may start production sometime in January or February of next year.
According to McKay, Anchorman 2 will focus on "the next stage in the development of American media and news."
Does that mean we'll be seeing the Action 4 News team take on cable news?