Judd Apatow breezed into London this week like a bearded typhoon, and naturally enough we went along and had a chat with him. But when we weren’t talking about his new movie, the excellent Funny People, or asking him about the biggest dog he’d ever seen, we decided to press him, Paxman-style, on the prospect of an Anchorman 2.
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, as you all know, is an Empire favourite, and one of the funniest films ever made. Will Ferrell, who plays Burgundy, has been talking about doing a sequel with his writing/directing partner, Adam McKay, for a while now, but nothing concrete appears to have emerged so far.
So, who better to ask for the skinny on the return of Ron, Brick Tamland, Brian Fantana and Champ Kind than Apatow, who produced the 2004 classic? And what he had to say will shock you to the very core of your being. Probably. OK, it won’t. But you can’t blame us for trying.
“They’re making a movie now, Will and Adam,” said Apatow, referring to the duo’s cop comedy, The Other Guys. “But I guess it’s a little bit more a possibility than it was a year ago, when it wasn’t being discussed at all.”
Interesting, interesting… and so, what have those discussions yielded, Mr. Apatow? “When we made Anchorman, Adam and Will had a lot of ideas about what the sequel would be – they’d always laugh about where they’d take the characters.”
And where that is, as it happens, is in a particularly intriguing direction. “The great thing is, Will can be any age and play that character. Those anchormen sometimes have their jobs until they’re 75 years old. So we would always laugh that this movie could work if everybody’s really elderly.”
Ron as an OAP? Brian Fantana adding a catheter to the winning team of The Octagon, James Westfall and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater? Brick Tamland with a severe case of arthritic hip? This could take us into Grumpy Old Anchormen territory… but while we’d love to see the Channel 4 News Team back on the big screen in any incarnation, we’d rather not wait another four decades for it to happen.
Fear not, though – Apatow feels your pain. “I hope we do it before that,” he laughed. Amen to that, sir. Amen to that.