In April, we reported that Sean Anders and John Morris would direct the football comedy Three Mississippi starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The plot centers on two Philadelphia neighbors whose annual Thanksgiving game of tackle football has become extraordinarily heated, and the two lead actors would play members of the opposing families with Wahlberg’s team always losing. But today Vulture reports that Wahlberg has dropped out the movie, and now Adam Sandler is in talks to replace him.
Hit the jump for more details.
According to Vulture, the production was gearing up with Alec Baldwin set to play Wahlberg’s father, but then a series of scheduling conflicts arose when Universal expected Peter Berg‘s Battleship would tank. The studio was originally set to finance and distribute Berg’s next picture, Lone Survivor, which stars Wahlberg as the lone survivor of a failed Navy SEAL mission (the title is not misleading). But when Battleship bombed, the studio decided to only distribute the movie, and the indie production had to scramble to secure financing. Emmet/Furla Films came on board, but with the condition that Wahlberg had to make it his next movie.
There was also the greenlight for Anchorman 2, which came as a surprise since Paramount had previously turned down co-writer/director Adam McKay and Ferrell’s attempts to make a sequel to the brilliant comedy. This meant that McKay had to back out of directing Three Mississippi, which he had developed with Ferrell, and the studio brought in Anders, who recently directed Sandler in the upcoming R-rated comedy That’s My Boy.
So you have Ferrell ready to shoot Anchorman 2 in January, but Wahlberg is set to lead Lone Survivor in the coming months. Warner Bros. is ready to make Three Mississippi now, and Ferrell didn’t want to wait on his The Other Guys co-star, so enter Sandler, who will likely come on board since he tends to be loyal to his previous directors (he’s made eight films with Dennis Dugan, four with Frank Coraci, and three with Peter Segal; of these movies, two have been good).
Despite Sandler’s atrocious track record when it comes to the quality of his pictures, he’s an undeniable force at the box office. Hopefully, the benefit of McKay and Ferrell’s script will provide stronger material than Sandler’s usual dreck.