To paraphrase one Theodor Seuss Geisel, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because we got Talladega Nights and Step Brothers out of it. Deadline reports that longtime creative partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are officially heading off in different directions. No word on whether this decision came immediately after McKay saw Holmes & Watson, or after Ferrell watched Vice.
The duo released a joint statement:
“The last 13 years could not have been more enjoyable and satisfying for the two of us at Sanchez Productions. We give massive thanks to our incredible staff and executives and all the writers, directors and actors we worked with through the years. The two of us will always work together creatively and always be friends. And we recognize we are lucky as hell to end this venture as such.”
Ferrell and McKay were hired on Saturday Night Live at the same time in 1995. McKay rose to head writer over six years, while Ferrell became one of the sketch series’ biggest break-out stars in front of the camera. That leap into a film career saw McKay directing Ferrell in six feature comedies: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Together with writer/producer Chris Henchy, the pair also founded the production company Gary Sanchez—and, later, its sister label Gloria Sanchez along with Jessica Elbaum—responsible or co-responsible for a wide-ranging slate that includes the Daddy’s Home movies, The House, and HBO’s Succession. Gary Sanchez will cease productions after its current projects are finished.
McKay has clearly been heading down a much more straight-faced path for a while now, directing two back-to-back social satires in The Big Short and Vice. For his part, Ferrell seems interested in much of the same; his latest broad comedy, Holmes & Watson, the first Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly joint not directed by McKay, was a flop both critically and at the box office.
The initial report notes, very reassuringly, that Ferrell and McKay “will continue to support each other both personally and professionally.”