Seven days. That’s how long Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues… Continued, the alternate version of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s swaggering comedy sequel, will run in cinemas when it opens tomorrow. And, according to McKay, that’s how long Anchorfans have left to catch Ron Burgundy and his pals on the big screen. That sound you can hear is Will Ferrell shaving off his Burgundy ‘tache, burning it and dancing around the flames, for Anchorman 3 is not going to happen.
“It’s done,” says McKay, talking exclusively with Empire. “I think that’s it. It was great to do it and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.”
In a way, that’s a surprise. Although Anchorman 2 perhaps wasn’t the huge crossover success that the marketing blitzkrieg that accompanied its December release might have suggested, it was still a big hit, crossing the $100 million mark in the States and almost doubling the worldwide gross of its predecessor. It seemed, in some ways, that Anchorman 3 would follow at some point.
“No, that’s the last sequel we’re gonna do,” adds McKay, also seemingly torpedoing any plans for Step Brothers 2. “There’s nothing more fun to me than new characters and a new world. And now we’re releasing this alt version, we’re totally satisfied. No Anchorman 3.”
Instead, McKay is working on a couple of new projects, including his long-mooted remake of the 1970s comedy, Uptown Saturday Night, with Will Smith. “You never fully know, but that’s the one I’m putting my chips on for now,” he said. “We’re working on the rewrite with Nick Stoller and it’s getting really good. We already did The Other Guys, I didn’t want to go into the traditional buddy film genre, I want it to be something different and I think we found it in the last week.”
But he’s also working on an adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book about the financial crash of 2008, The Big Short, which would be something of a departure for a man who’s made nothing but comedies.
“It’s the best book ever written about finance, banking, the stock market,” explained McKay. “It’s all about five guys who knew that the 2008 collapse was coming before it happened. Some of them try to warn people, and some go, ‘Screw it, I’m going to short the market!’ These were the few sane people who knew what was happening and it’s about what it’s like to be the one person in the room who actually knows that the building is about to collapse and no-one will believe you. It’s a page-turner. You read it and by the end you completely understand the ’08 collapse.”
And then after that, who knows? Perhaps, Empire ventures, McKay and Ferrell might revisit the notion of Anchorman 3 down the line… maybe in ten years or so? The director laughs. “I’m going to say definitely no. I’ll actually say it in this case!”
Read the rest of Empire's exclusive interview with McKay, in which he discusses a very interesting alternate notion for Anchorman 2 and the abstract concept of depressing intermissions.