By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 29, 2011 at 10:21AM
Comedian Says Paramount Pictures Are Being "Idiots" About 'Anchorman 2'
Playing the Tribeca Film Festival this week is the low-key Will Ferrell film, "Everything Must Go," directed by first-timer Dan Rush. Loosely based on a Raymond Carver short story and co-starring Michael Peña and Rebecca Hall, Ferrell turns in one of his most understated and nuanced performance ever (yes, including "Stranger Than Fiction") as an alcoholic who relapses, causing him to lose his wife, his job and his home which forces him to hold a yard sale on his front lawn in an attempt to start over.
It's a wonderful performance in a really mannered and low-lit picture. This writer's review from the Toronto International Film Festival last year described the film as a "tender and winning drama with Will Ferrell at his low-key best."
West Coast Playlist member Leah Zak had the chance to sit in on a press conference today with Ferrell about "Everything Must Go," which hits theaters in limited release on May 13th, and of course at one point the conversation turned to what Will Ferrell was up to next. Turns out its the political comedy "Southern Rivals" co-starring Zach Galifianakis and directed by Jay Roach ("Meet the Parents," "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery").
"What's next for me specifically is that I'm shooting a film in the fall with Zach Galifianakis where we're kind of rival Southern politicians in a small congressional district in South Carolina that we'll release for the election season next year," the comedian said. "It kind of comments on the circus that is now modern day politics." The timing is perfect, and hopefully they'll be putting that asshat Donald Trump, or some kind of doofus stand-in on blast.
Of course the conversation turned to two comedy films that have become near legends and their prospective, hopefully-upcoming sequels. For Ben Stiller's fashion world riff, Ferrell didn't have many answers, but for the "Anchorman 2" sequel that Paramount nixed last year because of its exorbitant budget, Ferrell had details on what-would-have-been plus some pretty unkind words to the short-sighted studio.
" 'Zoolander 2' I don't know anything about," Ferrell admitted. " 'Anchorman 2' you'd have to really assert some kind of email hate campaign to Paramount pictures because they've told us, quote unquote, 'We've run the numbers and it's not a good fit.' "
When asked, somewhat incredulously if the movie really was going to be a musical, as rumored, Ferrell attested. "No, really, that was gonna be our idea," he said. "Yeah, we were actually gonna do an almost reverse -- almost like the Marx Brothers used to do. We were going to do a Broadway musical and then have a film come out after the stage show and everyone who we tell the idea to loves it, except for the studio that owns the rights so... ball is in their court. So yeah, they're being idiots."
Ok, so while we're at it and the proposed "Step Brothers" sequel, or at least the idea that's been discussed? It's a possibilty and there's been recent discussions between the principal creative team.
"Yeah, [director Adam McKay and I] just sat down with John [C. Reilly] and bounced around some ideas so we'll see." More from this interview, plus a conversation with "Everything Must Go" director Dan Rush closer to release on May 13.