Adam McKay is certainly one of the most talented people working in the comedy genre today, with a career that goes back to his days as head writer on SNL and includes writing and directing evergreen comedies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Recently, though, McKay has shown an ambitiousness that sees him branching out into different avenues. He tackled his first sequel with the absurdly funny Anchorman 2, he worked with collaborator Paul Rudd to rewrite Marvel Studios’ upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, and his next film may seem him taking on dramatic material.
Steve recently sat down with McKay in anticipation of the upcoming short film series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, and during the course of their conversation he provided updates on a number of upcoming projects. He revealed that his Uptown Saturday Night remake is not going forward, but said it’s looking like he will next tackle the housing/credit crisis film The Big Short, adapted from the Michael Lewis (Moneyball) book of the same name. He also discussed other projects that are in the works, and said Step Brothers 2 is ready to go but he wants to tackle a few other kinds of films first before going back to another sequel. Much more after the jump.
“What happened before was I would come out of a movie and say, ‘Oh I wanna try something else,’ and I would only have like two options, and if it didn’t happen I was kinda stuck with nothing. So I started developing a little more for myself.”
For a while it was looking like McKay’s next project would be a remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy Uptown Saturday Night for Warner Bros., with Will Smith and Denzel Washington looking to star. Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) was writing the screenplay, but McKay says Warner Bros. wasn’t quite keen on their take and now he’s no longer attached to the project:
“In the case of Uptown Saturday Night, that actually isn’t happening. I did a script with Nicholas Stoller and they didn’t quite respond to it. I mean who knows, if they come back with a great script from other writers I could reattach, but for now that doesn’t look like that’s going. So I was happy that I found these other projects because that was one I thought I was doing and it just didn’t quite get there.”
“The big one right now is The Big Short. I adapted the Michael Lewis book and that script is now in to Paramount, I’m waiting to hear back. But we’re really happy, I did it with Plan B, with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner over there. I think we have kind of an amazing script so fingers crossed that’s my next one.”
It’s no secret that McKay, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly were gearing up to move forward with Step Brothers 2 just before Paramount finally warmed to the idea of making Anchorman 2, and so Steve asked McKay if Step Brothers 2 is still a possibility:
“We have a whole story [for Step Brothers 2], an outline that we’re happy with. We were ready to go, and you know the story of [how] we got the call on Anchorman 2. We’re not gonna do it now ‘cause we just did a sequel, I don’t wanna get into the sequel business too much. It was kind of a novelty to do one of them and it was certainly very interesting and I had never done anything like it. So I want to go make some original movies—or you know, The Big Short is an adaptation but do some different stuff. But who knows? 2-3 years, 3-4 years. I mean the funny thing with Step Brothers is if those guys are in their 50’s it still works, so we could easily return to that, but for now no sequels.”
As a massive fan of Step Brothers it’s certainly encouraging to hear that there’s still enthusiasm on their part to make a follow-up, but I can’t blame McKay for wanting to tackle some different kinds of projects first.
The filmmaker confirmed that he’s still developing Border Guards with Ferrell and Reilly for Sony, adding “we’ll see what happens with that,” and spoke briefly about the comedy pitch his company Gary Sanchez Productions recently acquired from Ben Schwartz with Schwartz and Seth Rogen attached to star:
“The Seth Rogen one is really exciting. We’re producing it as a production company. I will definitely direct that if that’s as awesome as it looks like it could be. If it’s not, then you know, oh well you’ve done the best you can, maybe someone else directs it down the road.”
Watch the portion of the interview pertaining to upcoming projects below, and look for Steve’s full interview with McKay on Collider tomorrow.