I have a feeling you’re going to see a lot of announcements about actors joining the cast of the upcoming sequel to “Anchorman,” and when we see the final film, many of those people will end up playing one or two scenes at most. It’s going to be a positively ridiculous cast, and that’s because the original film has become a huge favorite for pretty much anyone working in film comedy right now. This is going to be a case where anyone Adam McKay wants, he’s going to get.
Christina Applegate was the one who broke the news on Twitter, which is starting to become one of the most reliable sources of breaking casting information when people like Bryan Singer can’t wait to share something. In this case, I can imagine Appelgate’s got to be happy to be adding some funny female energy to what is already a very large roster of very funny dudes. Kristen Wiig will be onboard playing the wife of Brick Tamland, Steve Carrell’s character from the first film. Carrell is just one of the returning characters, of course. Will Ferrell is back as Ron Burgundy, Paul Rudd will be Brian Fantana once more, David Koechner will return as Champ Kind, and Applegate is going to reprise her role as Veronica Corningstone. Just typing the character names again makes me happy. I was an early fan of the script, and I was thrilled when it was not only made, but when it turned out to be as consistently funny as it was. It seemed like it was such a gamble for the first film to get made that it’s sort of amazing to be writing news stories about a sequel now.
I can sometimes get cynical about the way business decisions are made sometimes in this industry. Just this morning, I found the “Thunderbirds Are Go!” announcement to be sort of depressing because it seems like the sort of calculated move that is squeezing original work out of the marketplace. “Anchorman” was a case of a studio finally taking a risk on something that they had been developing for a while and while it wasn’t an immediate blockbuster, it has been such a strong performer over time that it basically laid the foundation for Will Ferrell’s entire starring career, and it has finally convinced Paramount to reassemble the Action News team.
I know very little about the script in its current form. They have taken several runs at a script for the sequel, and at one point it was a musical, while in another incarnation, it evidently dealt with the rise of 24 hour cable news channels in the ’80s. Whatever they end up doing, it’s just exciting to see everyone so pleased to be getting back together, and we’ll see how it comes together at the end of the year.
“Anchorman: The Legend Continues” will arrive in theaters December 20, 2013.