Ready to up their game and make their first sequel, McKay and Will Ferrell seem to be raising the stakes, but as fans already know, this project was dead in the water back in 2010. But as McKay explains to THR, it took persistence, fuelled by the enthusiasm of fans, to finally work things out with Paramount and get the ball rolling. But alas, "Anchorman 2" seems to be coming at the cost of the long rumored "Step Brothers 2," which was being set up before McKay and Ferrell took one more stab at "Anchorman."
"Then we even went back a third time! In like November, just for the hell of it, [our manager] Jimmy Miller called and was like, 'Hey, is there any change?' And they were like, 'No, that’s what it is.' So now it’s really, really 100% dead, and Ferrell and I are sitting down and there’s talk of doing 'Step Brothers 2,' and we were going to line that up at Sony and we were like, 'You know what? That’ll be our sequel. The first one was so much fun, we’ll go do that,' " McKay explains. "But I keep hearing from everyone: 'Anchorman 2,' 'Anchorman 2,' 'Anchorman 2'… So we’re about to set sail on 'Step Brothers 2,' and I go to Jimmy, 'Can you just check one last time?' And he goes, 'It’s a waste of time. We’ve already checked three times.' I go, 'Just call, I just need to hear it one last time.' And he said, 'I’m telling you, it’s a waste of time.' So Ari Emanuel, my agent, is like, 'Fine, I don’t give a shit, I’ll call.' So he calls, and he goes, 'They’re interested.' And we’re all immediately like, 'Screw you, we’re wasting time.' And he’s like, 'No, no, they’re interested.' Next thing you know, I hear from Goodman, going, 'Hey, we’ve got a shot.' I guess a movie fell through for them or something, and that was it."
So what was that movie that fell apart? Apparently it was a project that would've starred "Wedding Crashers" duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, but when Paramount realized it would cost roughly the same amount as an "Anchorman" sequel, and the latter already had a built in audience who were eager for the movie, the lightbulb finally went off. And as for the money they'll get to make it with, it's a compromise between what the filmmakers wanted and what the studio was willing to spend. "The budget we ended up getting was $50 million. It was perfect. We wanted $60 million, they were saying $35 million, $50 million we can get it done for. We came up with a — we’re not going to get rich — but a fair little back end sweetener on it," McKay explained.
The rest of the Action 4 newsteam is expected to return -- Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner -- and McKay also reveals that Christina Applegate should be in the mix too, saying "we already have talked about the story and it looks like there will be something for her." Also possibly returning? Vince Vaughn as Wes Mantooth ("Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!") saying that the actor is among those who are "all in" though he cautions "we’re still finishing everyone’s deal on it, nothing’s official."
So what will it be about? That remains the big question. Yesterday it was revealed that McKay teased that the story may involve "a custody battle" and "bowling for dollars" and here he's a bit more cagey. "We have a basic idea. I’ll tell you we’re staying roughly period, and I would just say it’s the next stage in the development of American media and news. The fun of these characters is they confront change very poorly. [laughs] So they’ve got some more change coming their way. I can say that pretty safely," he said.
And the last big question is, of course, when are we going to get to see this. "We’re looking at January-February for shooting. Probably it’ll end up being February is my guess," McKay said, while he hints that release dates are already being tossed around. "We’re talking about it, we don’t know yet exactly where it’ll be, we’re kind of floating. They’ve said Christmas, they’ve said March, and then they’ve gone as late as May…You know they want it to be summer, is what they want, but that gets a little long. So we’ll have to figure that out."
We don't really care when it comes at this point, we're just glad it's happening. And Ron Burgundy for Christmas would be like receiving many leather-bound books in an apartment smelling of rich mahogany.