With Thor: Ragnarok out, there’s been more than a few conversations on Twitter and other social media platforms about sequels that are better than their predecessors. In the MCU, Ragnarok and Iron Man 3 are the most obvious examples, and some people would even argue the second Guardians of the Galaxy is better than the original. There are plenty of other examples, from Toy Story 2 to Mission-Impossible: Ghost Protocol to Tron: Legacy, but one realm is especially prone to disastrous sequels, and that is comedy.
In a recent interview with the NY Daily News, Will Ferrell touched on this subject while defending the much-maligned sequel to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Along the way, he dropped a far more interesting tidbit by teasing the plot for Step Brothers 2, which he recently said was “toast,” signaling that its neither on his, John C. Reilly, or Adam McKay‘s radar at the moment. Ferrell says that the idea would be for Reilly and his characters to follow their parents (Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen) to a retirement community and then convince their parents that they’ve earned retirement as well. You can find Ferrell’s full quote below, along with his quote about sequels.
The problem with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is that it’s repetitive and structurally near-identical to its predecessor. The movie followed a narrow narrative formula that also hemmed in the creative engines of the brilliant comedians that created the original idea. From the sound of what Ferrell and McKay were working on, however, that wouldn’t have been the case with Step Brothers 2, as long as they didn’t double down on the Prestige Worldwide pitch video or the montage of job interviews. Alas, we’ll likely never see what Ferrell, Reilly, and McKay would have put up in a sequel to one of the best American comedies of the Aughts by a mile. We will have to make due with next year’s Holmes & Watson, which will reunite Reilly and Ferrell under the direction of Get Hard helmer Etan Cohen. Fingers crossed it’s not a bust.
Here’s the rough plot for Step Brothers 2:
“We talked about ‘Step Brothers,’ and then Adam and I got sidetracked with other things…We had a whole story where John and I follow our parents to live in a retirement community and try to convince them that we earned the right to retire as well.”
Here’s what Ferrell said about the “catch-22″ situation with sequels:
“The sequel thing is so funny because, we decided obviously to go down the road with ‘Anchorman,’ and we made what I thought was a really great sequel, really funny…The entertainment media and fans beg you, and beg you, and beg you for sequels, and then you make it and you definitely have a fraction that’s like, ‘Well, not as good as the first one.’ So I guess it’s a catch-22. It’s a nice catch-22, because people love the movies in the first place.”