Ben Stiller talks about the progress on ‘Zoolander 2’

When I sat down with the cast of “The Watch,” they were all together as a group, which made it hard to ask people about their individual projects.

Even so, I was curious to see if Ben Stiller is any closer to kicking off production on “Zoolander 2,” which he’s been aggressively talking about on and off for the last few years.  The first film was a casualty of its post-9/11 release date, only finding an audience gradually once it came home.  That’s not uncommon for comedies, especially comedies that are centered around big character choices.  Look at the way the “Austin Powers” films built in popularity, or the way “Macgruber” continues to gain in popularity over time.

“Zoolander” is one of the strangest characters that Stiller ever played, and it will be interesting to see if a second film can take all the things people liked about that first film and expand on them in smart and surprising ways.  He’s been working with Justin Theroux on a script for a while now, and we’ve heard occasional updates from him about the progress.

When I asked him about the film, he seemed happy to offer an update, which you’ll see in the video I’ve embedded above.  What you won’t see is his update after the interview about a third “Night At The Museum” film, which he said is also starting to come together.  He offered me that because we talked about how much my sons love those movies and how they’ve created a whole new generation of fans for Stiller.  I also spoke to Richard Ayoade about “Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace,” a British comedy show that I adore, and he told me it’s exceptionally unlikely we’ll ever see new episodes of that.

I’m sure I could have also asked Jonah Hill about the “21 Jump Street” sequel that seems inevitable at this point, but when you’re dealing with such a tight turnaround, I always try to keep the focus on the film we’re actually there to discuss, and you’ll see the rest of the conversation later tonight, with Hill, Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Ayoade together.

“The Watch” opens on Friday.