As network news continues to leak anchors and see their audience numbers sink, art, it seems, is imitating life. And so the newsroom lights go dark on Ron Burgundy, the legendary San Diego newsman turned iconic national co-anchor.
Out promoting his new indie film "Everything Must Go," Will Ferrell, who starred as the blustery, brain-dead late 70's local news anchor, blasted the suits at Paramount Pictures for their refusal to produce a sequel to the smash hit 2004 film "Anchorman."
The film, which cemented Ferrell's movie superstar status and brought Paul Rudd and Steve Carell to the forefront of comedy, grossed $90 million worldwide on a $26 million budget and is a regular television syndication favorite. Still, it's not enough to convince Paramount to green light a second film, Ferrell says.
"'Anchorman 2,' you'd have to really assert some kind of email hate campaign to Paramount picture because they've told us, quote unquote, 'We've run the numbers and it's not a good fit,'" Ferrell told an audience of journalists (via CinemaBlend).
The stop sign from Paramount means that an old school approach that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay had planned for the sequel will not be happening.
"We were going to do almost a reverse... almost like how the Marx brothers used to do - we were going to do a Broadway musical and then have a film come out after the stage show," Ferrell said, confirming earlier rumors. "Everyone we tell the idea loves it, except for the studio that owns the rights. Ball's in their courts, but they're being idiots."
The story, it seems, is largely the same as it was last May, when Ferrell told Entertainment Weekly that the studio had pulled a 180 degree turn on its desire for a sequel.
"Well, you know, yeah, it's a little peculiar. On the one hand, [we were] being begged to do a sequel for such a long time, and then we finally came up with a concept that we liked, we talked to all the guys, and everyone was up for it," he revealed. "And then to get the reaction we got, yeah, it's slightly puzzling to us. But you know what? It's also their money. They get to do or not do whatever they want. So we'll see. We're still going back and forth. Maybe there is a solution. Or, I know in talking to Adam, if it never happens, then it never happens. And that's fine, too. So we'll just see."
That interview came after McKay tweeted the death notice of the film, writing, "So bummed. Paramount basically passed on Anchorman 2. Even after we cut our budget down. We tried."
Ferrell, who is wrapping up a guest stint on "The Office," recently suggested that he chose to do the show, along with a Spanish-language indie film, in part because financing fell through on the big studio projects that he wanted to do. Still, it's affording him the opportunity to try new things.
"As the bigger studio movies become less and less, in terms of these comedies where you're picking out one of five, it was like, O.K., if those are all going to go away, it's an exciting time for me to make some more artful choices," he told the New York Times. "And to put it out there that I'm looking forward to the potential of working with different types of material and other directors who wouldn't necessarily think of me."
For more on Ferrell's chat with reporters, which also included details about his new film with Zach Galifianakis, click over to CinemaBlend.