The stars of Step Brothers and Talladega Nights are back! Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are set to reunite on screen in Border Guards, a new Sony Pictures comedy that Adam McKay is eyeing to direct. The picture would see Ferrell and Reilly as two incompetent border guards who get stranded in Mexico and have to sneak back across the border. While the the reunion of the comedic trio is cause for celebration in its own right, there’s also word that Sony has set British scribe and Peep Show creator Jesse Armstrong to pen the script. Hit the jump for more.
Filmmaker Adam McKay is one of the best comedy directors around, and he’s also one of the smartest. While he’s had massive hits with films like Anchorman and Talladega Nights, McKay makes it a point to thread timely satire into most of his films in addition to the absurd comedy. The Other Guys tackles financial and corporate corruption, and his latest pic Anchorman 2 is not-so-subtly a satire on the 24-hour cable news media.
In anticipation of the Blu-ray release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues on Tuesday, April 1st (which includes a bevy of extras and three cuts of the film), I recently spoke with McKay on the phone. The filmmaker discussed how he keeps the satirical focus of his films intact despite their improvisational nature, his shock at Paramount’s willingness to release the R-rated alternate cut of Anchorman 2 into theaters, his fondness for the Step Brothers score, and much more. He also talked about his first foray into drama with The Big Short, which he calls one of the more ambitious things he’s done. Read the full interview after the jump.
Though filmmaker Adam McKay is best known for helming comedic gems like Anchorman and Step Brothers, his future slate sees him branching out a bit into other genres. He’s developing an adaptation of the graphic novel The Boys, he’s set to direct the remake Uptown Saturday Night, and now Paramount has announced that McKay will write and direct an adaptation of the Michael Lewis book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, which examines the housing and credit bubble of the 2000s. McKay previously dabbled in politically minded material with the action-comedy The Other Guys, which dealt heavily with corporate greed and corruption, so The Big Short feels like a solid fit for the filmmaker.
Brad Pitt—who produced and starred in the Michael Lewis adaptation Moneyball—will produce The Big Short through his Plan B banner. No word on where this fits into McKay’s schedule (he’s planning on making Uptown Saturday Night next), but this is certainly promising news. Read the full press release after the jump.
I thought Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was hilarious, and it was no surprise that there was an alternate cut featuring different jokes. There was plenty of riffing on set, and director Adam McKay had a wealth of choices when trying to find the right jokes. Even at two hours, the original breezed by, and while I didn’t like it quite as much on a second viewing, it was still quite enjoyable. Now a “Super-Sized R-Rated” version has been released, and in many ways it improves the original by showing that McKay made the right call on which jokes to use and which ones to leave on the cutting room floor. Although there are some additions in the new version that are superior to the original, the new cut is plenty of bloat to the point where some of the jokes don’t even make sense. The comic timing is completely off as it seems like the goal of the new version was to add more and make it slightly different, but not better or even as good as the original.
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.
If you’re a fan of the Anchorman series, you might want to take a few days off starting April 1st. That’s because Paramount has just announced the Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray and it’s loaded with awesome extras. While I knew we’d get some cool stuff based on what director Adam McKay included with the first Anchorman Blu-ray, the sequel lifts the bar to another level. Here’s a few of the highlights:
- Three versions of the film—the original Theatrical Version, the Unrated Version and the Super-Sized R-Rated Version with 763 new jokes (the super-sized edition plays in theaters for one-week starting February 28th. More details here)
- More than 90 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes
- Commentary by Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner
- Line-O-Rama, Parts 1 & 2—Non-stop alternate lines from the film
- Welcome to the Dolphin Show—Ron Burgundy takes on the crowd
- Kench-O-Rama—Mashup of Kench Allenby’s most Australian moments
- Cast Table Read
- Anchorman 2: The Musical—A look at the musical sequel that almost was
- Auditions—Featuring Meagan Good, Dylan Baker and Amy Poehler
And this isn’t everything, as the Blu-ray includes 4 hours of bonus content. While Paramount has screwed the fans over a number of different ways with their recent home video releases (look at what they did for Star Trek: Into Darkness), I’m happy they’re including all these extras in the same place. Hit the jump for the full list on the press release and click here to get it for $19.99 (which is 50% off on Amazon).
Last night I had the opportunity to catch Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and I have to say that I walked away with mixed feelings. For the most part, the laughs were there (especially the scenes with Greg Kinnear and the “getting the team back together” sequence early on). I also thought the decision to place the Channel 4 News Team at the dawn of the 24 hour news cycle was great in that it gave Ron and Co. the chance to be pioneers of the trade and provided the pic solid footing from which to deliver its well-placed jabs at the current state of the broadcast news industry. On the other hand, some of the film’s gags and multiple cameos landed with a huge thud for me and I’m still a little surprised at how ridiculously over the top it becomes in the final 20 minutes or so (even for an Anchorman sequel). All in all, if you enjoyed the original then I think there’s enough magic left in the tank that you’ll have fun with The Legend Continues. Just don’t be surprised if you leave the theater less than thrilled to experience the next installment in Ron Burgundy’s story.
My notes aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, interviews with Will Ferrell and more for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the first trailer for 22 Jump Street, American Hustle interviews with Christian Bale and more, and Matt’s editorial on why “Worst Of” lists are, for the lack of a better word, the worst. Read on for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is undoubtedly one of the most iconic, beloved, and—dare I say—legendary, comedies of the last 10 years. And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for—Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is finally here. This is a movie that needs no introduction; the characters are so well known that they can make appearances on actual local news stations in tiny towns across the country. There is a new Ben and Jerry’s flavor dedicated to Ron Burgundy- Scotchy Scotch Scotch (butterscotch, not the alcohol)- and it is delicious. There is even a new phone game created by Funny Or Die, “Scotchy Scotch Toss” has players toss ice cubes into Ron Burgundy’s glass to win points and hang out with San Diego’s legendary anchorman.
At the press day for the film in New York, I got to participate in a roundtable interview with two of the creative forces behind the film, Adam McKay and Judd Apatow. McKay directed and co-wrote the script with Will Ferrell, and Apatow produced. The two answered questions about coming up with the storyline, avoiding direct callbacks to the first film, some of their comedic influences, the cameos in the gang fight, and more. Hit the jump to read on.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is a comedy classic. It’s infinitely quotable, gets better with every viewing, and had the staying power to go from being a moderate summer hit to a film where a growling legion of fans were constantly demanding a sequel. Sadly, these cases usually end with a “Be careful what you wish for.” But Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is “Sometimes, dreams do come true.” Burdened with almost a decade of expectations compounded by an unrelenting marketing campaign, not to mention the fact that comedy sequels are almost always inferior to the original, Adam McKay‘s film was inevitably at a disadvantage despite fans begging for its existence. The compromise is a shaggy beast of a sequel that maintains the silly and strange soul of the original. Even with its glaring flaws, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues still manages to be 2013′s funniest film.
Warner Bros.’ remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy Uptown Saturday Night is getting a rewrite. Variety reports that Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and Get Him to the Greek scribe Nicholas Stoller has been brought on to pen a rewrite of the script in an effort to fast-track the redo. The project has a promising pedigree, with Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) onboard to direct and Will Smith and Denzel Washington attached to star. The original film revolved around two friends who sneak out to visit a high-class illegal club, only to find themselves in hot water.
McKay wants Uptown Saturday Night to be his next film after completing Anchorman 2 and Smith and Washington must both approve of the script before things move forward, so Stoller is hoping to have a draft ready by next month. If the script delivers, all involved are geared up to start production next summer.
A few weeks ago, I got to visit the editing room of director Adam McKay’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with a few other reporters. While we only got to see a few selected scenes from the beginning of the film, I’m happy to report they looked fantastic and everyone was laughing non-stop. Shortly after watching the footage, McKay and his editor, Brent White, answered questions for about thirty minutes and revealed a lot of cool information. Here are a few highlights:
- The first assembly cut was over four hours. The first test screening was two and a half hours and, according to McKay, it played extremely well. However, the final release will be around two hours.
- McKay and White are developing an alternate version of Anchorman 2 that has a completely different set of jokes (around 240). They’re going to test screen the alternate cut and hope to release it on either movie screens (after the original’s release) or VOD/DVD/Blu-ray.
- The film has a couple of musical numbers and one big love song at the end of the movie.
- Will Ferrell and McKay originally intended the ending to the sequel to be a ridiculous bit about an underwater glass hotel that failed, with water coming through the windows and sharks coming at people. They changed their minds.
Hit the jump for more highlights from the interview followed by the full transcript. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opens December 20th and stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Dylan Baker, Greg Kinnear, and Harrison Ford.
I finally got the chance to check out Thor: The Dark World earlier this week and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did its 2011 predecessor, I had a good time with the movie and want to take a few lines here to share my impressions. First and foremost, it’s funny. As you might expect, Kat Dennings is great as Darcy. That said, it’s odd to label her as the comic relief given all of the levity provided by other characters throughout the film when she is nowhere to be found. Also, as you’re probably even more inclined to expect, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki and chews up virtually every second of screen time that he’s allotted. On the other hand, what the film had in humor it lacked in drama, conflict, tension, and/or just answers in general. Who are the Dark Elves and why do they insist on everyone living in darkness? What is the Aether and why is it a death sentence for some and a source of all-encompassing power for others? It’s like I walked into the movie 15 minutes late although I’m sure I was seated in time and watched the entire thing. In other words, see Thor: The Dark World for the 112 minute escape that it is and you should be fine. Expect to come out of it with some idea of how and why everything happened outside of just pure coincidence and you’re setting yourself up for frustration.
My one paragraph review aside, this week’s Top 5 includes the first trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, our visit to the set of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a series of Super Mario Bros. short films that you may love or that may leave you scratching your head, the first teaser trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and the uplifting story of BatKid fighting crime in San Francisco. As is routine, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
In the world of filmmaking, there’s likely only one man who could inspire a crowd of 3,000 extras to chant “You are not classy!” at San Diego’s most famous newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), and that man is director Adam McKay. Taking full advantage of his access to a loudspeaker at SeaWorld San Diego’s dolphin show and the crowd’s willingness to participate, McKay ran them through a number of chants that ranged from the silly to the surreal, resulting in Burgundy being booed off stage.
In between takes of McKay using the crowd to shout down Ron Burgundy, the writer-director took time out to speak to a small group of journalists on set. He spoke about the experience of directing 3,000 extras, getting the cast of the original film back together, landing new additions to the world of Anchorman, and how helpful it is to have Judd Apatow on set (and not just because that means they’ll be eating well that day). Hit the jump for the interview. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opens December 20th.
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is calling out for the News Team to assemble, and you have a chance to join them. Burgundy sent out a new video today listing the Top 10 reasons you should join him, Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champion Kind (David Koechner), Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), and the biker Ron hit with his burrito (Jack Black) for a live-reading of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Producer Judd Apatow and director Adam McKay will host the event, and it only costs a donation of $10 to enter. In addition to being on stage with the cast, the winner will also receive flight and 4-star hotel accommodations for them and their guest. Proceeds will go to 826LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. So you can enter to win a great prize and give money to charity? Now that’s classy.
Hit the jump to check out the video and find out how you can donate. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opens December 20th.
Last weekend I checked out director Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie remake and found it to be a perfectly solid retelling of Brian De Palma‘s 1976 classic. With a solid lead performance from Chloë Grace Moretz and a downright terrifying turn by Julianne Moore, I found more than a few things to like about the pic. I also thought the opening scene was terrific and was surprised to hear Judy Greer tell Steve that it wasn’t in the original script. Although I knew how the story would play out, I found myself wanting so badly for Carrie’s prom night to go smoothly which I think is a credit to Peirce’s direction and the time she takes setting up the obstacle-laden road Carrie traverses on the way to her first date. Ultimately, is there anything extraordinarily fresh and/or updated about the remake? Not really. Nevertheless, it’s a solid movie that proves Stephen King‘s tale is just as relevant and effective today as it was nearly four decades ago.
With my paragraph review of Carrie in the bag, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Adam’s Divergent set visit, Steve’s Thor: The Dark World video interviews with Chris Hemsworth and more, two new trailers for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Evan’s look at superhero movie casting decisions that nearly came to fruition. Much like in the past, a brief recap and link to each of the above is waiting after the jump.