Back in the misty depths of its long, troubled gestation, there had been some talk of staging an Anchorman sequel as a Broadway musical before it hits screens. But while that won’t be happening, McKay says the film will likely feature Will Ferrell and the cast breaking into song.
"The music sequences we have done – we did Afternoon Delight' in Anchorman, Adam Scott and his family singing Sweet Child O' Mine in Step Brothers, we did a whole song for Talladega Nights that got cut out, a big, big musical number – we always do it live on the set," McKay tells the Playlist team. "And my thing is, if the actors get freaked out, don't sweat it, we can always re-record it later. And every time we've done it, we end up using the live track from the recording. We'll probably do it the same way in this." Take that, Les Mis!
Just one caveat: given that the sequences might be a little more complex, some additional recording may be required. "This one might have a little more movement in it, and the only problem with that is the actors get winded."
One of Anchorman’s highlights was its hilarious, sprawling supporting cast, a tradition McKay intends to carry over to the sequel. "We're talking about, for Anchorman 2, creating a murderer's row of the best day players ever. Like having every single one line or three-line role, just be someone we just love. Someone like Ian Roberts or Rob Huebel or Paula Killen – just making sure every day player is a homerun.”
With McKay and Ferrell hard at work writing and re-writing the script ready for a planned shoot in March, he’s naturally keeping big plot reveals close to his chest, not least because it could all change before it even reaches the set (the original, after all, had so much leftover plot that they made a whole second movie for the DVD). But McKay’s already talked about the new film tackling the changing face of news media and how Burgundy and his team face up to it. Or don’t.
With Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate all back for more madness, Anchorman 2 should be out next year, though there’s no solid date yet.