Whether he’s competing in drum battles or threatening to bite Germans in the name of World Cup sportsmanship, we get behind most everything Will Ferrell does. Today is Ferrell’s 47th birthday and rather than give you guys a rundown of the roles he passed on or list of obscure facts, I’m going to use the opportunity to dig into the sequel status of some of his most popular films. Ferrell has been largely opposed to reviving his characters for the big screen, and I gotta be honest, it doesn’t look good for Elf 2.
Here’s the current state of the six potential Will Ferrell sequels everyone asks about.
1. Old School
There have been rumors of an Old School sequel in the works since the day Old School hit theaters. And for a while, that seemed like a real possibility. The movie raked in money at the box office and on DVD, and launched Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as Hollywood’s new stars of R-rated comedy. It only made sense to do a sequel. Then Wedding Crashers, Anchorman, Step Brothers and The Break-Up came along, people got busy, and Craig Kilborn vanished from the face of the Earth.
At one point it looked like it was going to happen, and at least one of the stars still seems down for the idea. The first script for the sequel was written in 2006 and followed the frat to spring break, but was given the thumbs down by both Ferrell and Vaughn. As of last year, any sort of script remains on the shelf with neither Will Ferrell or Vince Vaughn expressing much interest in it. Now if Luke Wilson can dig his heels in and get Vince on the phone, maybe there’s a possibility for something. According to IFC, Wilson is down for another collaboration.
“God, it would be really fun to do something with Will and Vince again like Old School,” he said. “I think that was what The Hangover basically was, but they couldn’t really get Old School 2 going. But that would be really fun.”
Likelihood of happening: 3
2. Elf 2
Warner Brothers pushed Ferrell to put on yellow tights for a sequel after the first one brought in $220 million worth of holiday cheer. Ferrell has never been on board with the idea, mostly because he doesn’t want to subject himself to the criticism that would come if it was a piece of “crap.” Warner Brothers was willing to shell out an insane $29 million in 2005, and even Ferrell thought it seemed like a little much.
“That’s what was on offer for it,” he says. “But I killed the idea of a sequel. I never liked it – $29m does seem a lot of money for a guy to wear tights, but it’s what the marketplace will bear.”
Jump to eight years later and nothing in his opinion of playing Santa’s helper again changed. In fact, he basically poured gasoline on any hopes you may have had for an Elf 2. Via USA Today:
“Absolutely not,” Ferrell said. “I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights: Buddy the middle-aged elf.”
Likelihood of happening: Big Fat 0
3. Step Brothers
In the realm of Will Ferrell’s cinematic contributions, Step Brothers is a gleaming pillar of hilarious stupidity. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Its amount of ridiculous lines and physical gags rival anything from Old School, and I could probably find a practical use for Will Ferrell’s drum GIF on a daily basis if I tried. It never achieved the popularity of Anchorman or Old School, but the idea of Dale and Brennan fumbling through another chapter of “adulthood” was still a possibility in 2011.
We’re kicking around the idea of Step Brothers 2. We feel like there’s way more fat to be mined there. One of them’s married and has a kid. They’re still kind of goofballs but they’ve taken three or four steps. Then we have an idea for something happens that knocks him back to square one, and one of the brothers, John C. Reilly sort of instigates it, like ‘we can’t take this anymore.’ And things go really bad, their lives kind of fall apart.
Of course Anchorman 2 did happen, but the process of actually getting everyone back for the movie was lengthy and likely took any sequel wind out of Ferrell and McKay’s sails. The arduous process of doing another sequel just doesn’t seem be something Ferrell or McKay are interested in right now. In February of this year, Empire Magazine reported that McKay has no plans to revive Step Brothers or another Anchorman.
“No, that’s the last sequel we’re gonna do,” adds McKay, also seemingly torpedoing any plans for Step Brothers 2. “There’s nothing more fun to me than new characters and a new world. And now we’re releasing this alt version, we’re totally satisfied. No Anchorman 3.”
Likelihood of happening: 2