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Ben Stiller Says 'Zoolander 2' Has A Good Script, But Still In The Hands Of Paramount

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 24, 2011 at 7:00AM

While some people think we're kind of no-fun movie lovers who prefer our films foreign and depressing, the truth is we could probably out quote anyone when it comes to either "Anchorman" or "Zoolander" any day of the week. But any hopes of seeing Ron Burgundy or Derek Zoolander again on the big screen lie at the table of the execs at Paramount. As we already know, the proposed musical sequel to "Anchorman" was rejected by the studio last summer as they felt the price tag for the film would have been too high. With that film now on the sidelines until somebody comes to their senses, attention has focused in on the gestating "Zoolander 2."
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While some people think we're kind of no-fun movie lovers who prefer our films foreign and depressing, the truth is we could probably out quote anyone when it comes to either "Anchorman" or "Zoolander" any day of the week. But any hopes of seeing Ron Burgundy or Derek Zoolander again on the big screen lie at the table of the execs at Paramount. As we already know, the proposed musical sequel to "Anchorman" was rejected by the studio last summer as they felt the price tag for the film would have been too high. With that film now on the sidelines until somebody comes to their senses, attention has focused in on the gestating "Zoolander 2."

At the beginning of the year, Ben Stiller revealed that a script, co-written by Justin Theroux, had been completed and submitted and they were just waiting to hear back. And they're still waiting. Playlist scribe Christopher Bell was among those assembled earlier this week when the team behind Richard Ayoade's upcoming "Submarine" (which Stiller produced) spoke to the press. Stiller addressed the persistent rumors about the "Zoolander" sequel, revealing that his phone thus far has been quiet.

"It's kind of coming along slowly, we have a script that we like and we're just waiting for the studio to figure it out. But I think we all want to do it. We're raring to go, not quite sure where the studio's at. Hopefully it'll come together," he said.

As with "Anchorman," the hurdle may be how much it will cost. Last summer it was suggested that Paramount is unwilling to spend more than $40 million on a sequel ("Anchorman 2" would've come in around $70 million) which, depending on the scope and size of the script, could be an issue. As Stiller revealed back in January, the sequel is largely set in Europe.

"....It’s ten years later and most of it is set in Europe. I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s basically Derek and Hansel ten years later – though the last movie ended on a happy note a lot of things have happened in the meantime. Their lives have changed and they’re not really relevant anymore. It’s a new world for them. Will Ferrell is written into the script and he’s expressed interest in doing it. I think Mugatu is an integral part of the Zoolander story, so yes, he features in a big way,” Stiller said.

We're pretty sure there are studios around town who would jump at the chance to have Stiller and Ferrell paired up again in a movie. As for Paramount, they haven't had the greatest success lately with (expensive) comedies. "Dinner For Schmucks" last summer cost just under $70 million, opened #2 at the box office and wound up with $90 million in sales. Not exactly the kind of numbers they would've wanted for a summer movie. But when they have lower budgeted fare like "She's Out Of My League" ($48 million on a $20 million budget) or "Jackass 3D" ($170 million on a $20 million budget) the stakes are lower and the rewards are greater.

We understand the hesitation, but it's up to you Paramount. Not everything has be action blockbusters does it?

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Zoolander 2, Ben Stiller


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