In a bit of an unprecedented move, Paramount Pictures is releasing Anchorman: The Legend Continues back into theaters this weekend with an entirely different, R-rated cut of the film. This was always the hope of director/co-writer Adam McKay, as the sheer magnitude of footage gleaned from the improvisational-heavy cast made for plenty of alternate jokes and even a full musical number that didn’t make the initial theatrical cut. It’s an exciting one-week engagement, but fans might want to savor the opportunity as McKay has now confirmed that it is highly unlikely that we’ll ever see an Anchorman 3. Moreover, he seems over the idea of sequels entirely, putting the long-hoped-for Step Brothers 2 in doubt. Hit the jump to read on.
While speaking with Empire, McKay says the Anchorman saga has come to an end:
“It’s done. 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.”
The filmmaker elaborated a bit more by talking about his desire to tackle original stories, seemingly making the prospect of Step Brothers 2 much less likely:
“No, [Anchorman 2] is the last sequel we’re gonna do. 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.”
After years of Paramount saying Anchorman 2 just wasn’t financially feasible, McKay, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly were actually getting ready to move forward with Step Brothers 2. But then McKay made one last-minute check-in on Anchorman 2 with Paramount before moving forward in earnest on the Step Brothers follow-up, which is when he and the studio struck a compromise that brought Anchorman: The Legend Continues to fruition.
McKay doesn’t outright say Step Brothers 2 is completely off the table, but he seems keen on tackling original material in the near future. As a massive fan of Step Brothers I’m a little bummed, but the McKay/Ferrell/Reilly trio have recently hinted at an all-new project together, so there’s indeed a silver lining.
As for the near future, McKay believes his next film will be Uptown Saturday Night starring Will Smith. He offered a promising update on the project to Empire:
“You never fully know, but [Uptown Saturday Night] is the one I’m putting my chips on for now. We’re working on the rewrite with [screenwriter] 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.”
Uptown Saturday Night is a remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy, and this version would pair Will Smith with Denzel Washington. Coming off the success of Anchorman 2 (its worldwide gross sits at $169.2 million before the re-release), McKay is likely able to cash-in some chips and this star-studded redo feels like a fascinating opportunity. Hopefully we hear more soon, but for now you can see the new cut of Anchorman 2 in theaters for one week only starting this Friday, February 28th.