Remember that scene in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues where the news team ignorantly quizzes an openly gay co-worker, who they confuse for a vampire? “Do you sleep in a coffin?” asks a befuddled Champ, while his thick-headed pals struggle with the concept of being gay in 1980. The exchange got some of the best laughs in the sequel’s trailer, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know that the scene didn’t actually make the final cut. That will all change on Feb. 28 when Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version begins a one-week run in theaters.
To no one’s surprise who saw Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie or the 70 or so Dodge Durango ads, the cast of the Anchorman sequel didn’t always stick to the script. “Every joke we did in the theatrical, we would shoot three or four alts to it,” says writer/director Adam McKay. “And in almost all of the cases, there was another really good choice.”
Not just really good, but “darker, odder, and stranger,” says McKay. The best of those alternative scenes have been resurrected for the Super-Sized version, which will also be included with the Anchorman 2 Blu-ray when it arrives on April 1. “It’s crazy long – about 2:20 – so for the real fans, this will be a treat,” says McKay. “We shot this musical [scene] that I really loved, and it just was off-story and long. It still got laughs but you could feel the drag of it a little bit. But on it’s own, it’s really funny and enjoyable.”
Click below for the entire gay-or-vampire sequence that was teased in the trailers, which then segues into the musical number, “Gay for a Day.”
McKay isn’t sick of Ron Burgundy yet, but that doesn’t mean he’s rushing to make another sequel either. “I think we’ll let it marinate a little bit, let it go to cable, go to DVD, see how people respond, and then like a year from now, a year and a half from now, kind of do a gut check,” says McKay. “We’ll know instantly if a third one feels a little gross and like a cash grab. Or does it feel like, ‘Yup, we want a third one.’”
In the meantime, McKay has a lot on his plate. Anchorman 2 quenched his thirst for a sequel experience, so Step Brothers 2 is no longer in the cards. “We did have a good idea [for a sequel], but I think the thing we’ll do instead is just do a different John C. Reilly-Will Ferrell movie,” says McKay. “That’s the bigger priority: Let’s get them back together, so we have two projects that we’re developing for them.”
More immediately, McKay is shooting a couple of TV pilots, prepping the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, developing an Uptown Saturday Night remake for Will Smith and Denzel Washington, and working with Sacha Baron Cohen on his comedy The Lesbian, which is in its early stages.
But the project he might be most excited about is The Big Short, the Wall Street meltdown book from Moneyball writer Michael Lewis. Brad Pitt’s company had acquired it to adapt for the screen in 2010, but things stalled. “That’s the best of all the Wall Street books,” McKay says. “I had a bunch of ideas for it, so I actually met with those people. It’s one of my favorite books of all time.”