It may not be the most highbrow comedy you can think of, but in terms of quotable lines and laughs-per-minute, 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy is hard to beat (best line: “I will take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again.”)
Yet, despite the moderate success of Anchorman, the story about a group of chauvinist 70s news anchors, an announced sequel was scrapped in April, and even the first film’s stars agreeing to reduce their salaries in order to get a follow-up made doesn’t appear to have convinced Paramount to stump up the requisite cash.
“Steve [Carell] and Paul [Rudd] and everyone agreed to cut their price to come and do [the sequel], which you don’t see very often in Hollywood – and cut their price substantially,” director Adam McKay told MTV earlier this year. “But even with that, it’s just a budgetary thing with Paramount in terms of how much they’ll give us to make it.”
And according to a brief interview with Dinner For Schmucks actor Paul Rudd, who played the suave Brian Fantana in the original Anchorman, said the possibility of a sequel is still uncertain.
“Salaries are down, I don’t know,” Rudd told MTV at this week’s Movie Awards. “I was actually talking to [writer/director] Adam McKay about this last night and we don’t know. For some reason [Paramount doesn’t] want to make it, I guess.
“I hope it’s one of those things that gets resolved because I think we’re all excited to [do it]. But if it doesn’t happen, we’ll just look to do Anchorman 3. The second one’s never good anyway.”
Shortly after, Will Ferrell, who played the lead role as the narcissistic, excessively hirsute Ron Burgundy, confirmed that Paramount ultimately had the final say in an Anchorman sequel.
“It’s up to Paramount,” he said. “They got to get their heads out of their you-know-whats and make that a reality. So the ball’s in their court.”
While we’d more than welcome an Anchorman follow-up, Rudd’s comment about sequels rarely being any good is certainly true enough – and with such a great proportion of the first film apparently improvised, with entire reels of footage left on the cutting room floor (to the point where a second film, Wake Up Ron Burgundy, was cut from the remnants and released on DVD), making a sequel that lives up to the brilliance of the original could prove too great a task.
More news on the potential Anchorman 2 sequel as we get it. Stay classy…