Paramount Won’t Be Assembling the News Team Again…

Studio passes on sequel to 2004 Will Ferrell cult comedy.

Owain Paciuszko


Sad news for all you little Anchorboys and Anchorgirls out there, according to Deadline and a tweet from writer/director Adam McKay the long rumoured ‘Anchorman’ sequel hasn’t been picked up by Paramount. McKay twittered;

So bummed. Paramount basically passed on Anchorman 2. Even after we cut our budget down. We tried.

Elsewhere, recent news had confirmed that the original cast – many of whom have gone on to bigger success and pay checks – would all return, taking reduced fees in order to fit into a slim budget.  McKay was especially excited by the prospect of some ‘bigger’ and ‘crazier’ ideas to at least give the follow up to the cult classic a chance, acknowledging that the kind of wacky lightning that hit on the first film may not strike the second if they try and repeat things, so their plan was to go all out and take the picture in some odd ball directions.  Admittedly the first ‘Anchorman’ was an erratically plotted ride, with 90 minutes of out-takes – including an entire bank robbery sub-plot – being assembled into an ‘Anchorman 1.5’ called ‘Wake Up, Ron Burgandy’.

The first film was budgeted at a modest $26 million, it wound up making its entire budget back on opening weekend and went on to rake in a total of $84 million at the U.S. box office, it’s also had an incredibly healthy life as its audience has grown on DVD.  McKay has compared the box-office potential of an ‘Anchorman 2’ to that of the ‘Austin Powers’ movies, and it’s easy to see when you look at the numbers; the first ‘Austin Powers’ cost $17 million and eventually pulled in $53 million.  When ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ came out two years later it was granted an increased budget of $33 million and made $205 million.

So it seems very strange that Paramount are passing on this sequel which has a built in audience of fanatics who would dearly love to see Will Ferrell looking good, really good, as the titular Ron Burgandy again, alongside his co-anchor (and co-person) Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and News Team – Brian Fantana (‘I Love You, Man’s Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (‘Date Night’s Steve Carell) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) – in the reportedly 1980s set follow-up.  The first film also boasted cameos from fellow frat-packers Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Luke Wilson and, er, Tim Robbins.

Though McKay’s tweet seems pretty cut and dried, I wouldn’t be surprised if perhaps there was another twist in this tale before too long…  You stay classy, OWF readers.