Beaks: So I heard about the big ANCHORMAN 2 disappointment today, that it was going to be a stage musical on Broadway first. And now it's dead. It's such a bummer. Logistically, how was that going to work? Was that four-month run going to include previews? Once you add in however many months it takes to shoot the movie, that seems like a rather large chunk of time to block out for all of you guys.
McKay: We figured it out. We were really going to do this. We got a Broadway producer. We figured out the whole schedule, that we were going to do a couple of a-capella, no-prop previews at Largo [in Los Angeles] like we did with the Bush show. Then we were going to do legitimate previews, and our cast was going to stay with it for two or three months. Then we were going to try to get a replacement cast if we could, just because we thought maybe it was original material. Then we were going to leave the show - kind of like The Marx Brothers did - and go right into shooting the movie. That was the idea. We were really starting to work towards it. And then we got the plug pulled, so...
Beaks: So it was going to be like THE COCOANUTS or ANIMAL CRACKERS?
McKay: Yeah. Isn't that insane? We were like, "No one's ever done this before! Premiere the sequel [on Broadway]!" It just made us giddy.
Beaks: That's a shame. I interviewed Carell a couple of weeks ago, and he still seemed hopeful. I was hoping you'd be bringing a little bit of good news today.
McKay: Here's the truth: to get all of those guys lined up - Carell, Rudd, Koechner, Applegate, Ferrell - in the right schedule is very, very tricky. The other tricky thing is that there's no way you can pay anyone full freight, myself included. We would all have to take massive cuts to do it, because you can't do a $120 million ANCHORMAN 2; it even goes against the spirit of the movie. So there's a bunch of things that have to line up.
Then, truthfully, Paramount was not doing backflips about it. They were kind of like, "Eh." I could tell [President of Production] Adam Goodman really wanted to do it because he worked on the first one, but the marketing [people] and others were all, "Yeah, the numbers on the first one were alright." And we kept saying, "But it grew after the box office, with the DVD and [cable]." AUSTIN POWERS did it. But they were not seeing it. I'm not sure if it will ever happen. Maybe that's for the best. Sequels are... I mean, we have plenty of different ideas.
Beaks: Yeah, but if you think you can find a way to make it work for a reasonable budget, why wouldn't they want to do it? I hear the movie quoted all the time. "Stay classy." People have grown to love ANCHORMAN.
McKay: We really wanted to do it. The musical idea got us really excited. We had a bunch of ideas, met with Judd [Apatow], started kicking around more ideas, and, truthfully, we were shocked when they said "No." We thought that was our one ace in the hole: "Well, we can always make ANCHORMAN 2." But nope!
I don't know. We'll see. We've talked about STEP BROTHERS 2, which seems to slowly be building fans as well. It's not ANCHORMAN, but there's a possibility we might do that. Although, maybe we just don't do sequels. It's not a bad idea to not do sequels. I kind of like it.
Beaks: Personally, with the others, I'd prefer you don't. But it's always seemed to me that more could be done with those ANCHORMAN characters.
McKay: I agree. It was not mined. I feel confident we would've at least done a decent movie; it wouldn't have sucked, that's for sure. Would it be as good and fun as the first one? No, probably not, because that's the first time you've done it. But if we did enough different shit with it... THE GODFATHER PART II, to me, is the only sequel that's better than the first one. I mean, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was great...
Beaks: I think TOY STORY 2 is better than the first.
McKay: Eh, you might be right. But the trick with THE GODFATHER PART II was that it was a totally different world. It had a whole different look and feel. If we could've been able to pull that off, we'll never know. But we would've for sure gone down in a blaze of glory. We were going to do the craziest shit we've ever done. We were doing that as a rule. "Let's do fucked up shit in this movie."
Yeah, I don't know. Maybe it'll happen. Maybe a year from now things will be different.