What an odd bit of synchronicity. For the last week, I've had “Step Brothers” sitting on the shelf by the TV in my office and I've been considering watching it again. Finally, as I started getting ready to write a few pieces this afternoon, I threw the film in and hit play. As the first scene started to play, I went back to my e-mail and found a heads-up from Greg Ellwood about a story that just broke regarding the third collaboration between Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly.
It's safe to say that I am a fan of the combination of McKay and Ferrell. I feel like they have such a great voice when they create characters, and one of the things I like most is seeing how they incorporate other comedy voices into what they do in each new project. For example, in “The Other Guys,” it was really smart making Will Ferrell the straight man and giving Mark Wahlberg the main role as the explosive lunatic, and Eva Medes in the same film looked like she was having the time of her life playing one of the strangest characters of her career. In “Talladega Nights,” John C. Reilly made a fantastic sidekick to Ferrell's character, which made it even more fun to watch them go after each other in “Step Brothers.”
As a result, it is exciting to hear that Ferrell, McKay and Reilly are closing in on a new project to make together. Jesse Armstrong is writing “Border Guards” for Sony, telling the story of two friends who decide to go to work as guards on the border of Mexico who end up stranded in the other country, leading them to try to find a way to sneak back into America. Knowing McKay, he won't be particularly worried about hiding the subtext inherent to that idea. I like that he is perfectly willing to be political right in the middle of the silliest possible comedies.
There's no guarantee McKay will make the film. It's still fairly early in the process, and McKay always has a number of films in development. If you're not familiar with Jesse Armstrong as a writer, he helped create both “Peep Show” and “Fresh Meat” for Channel 4 in the UK, and he has been working on a script about Lee Atwater that McKay is also interested in directing. Here's hoping this proves to be a successful and fruitful collaboration, because I will always be excited about the idea of any new project involving McKay, Ferrell, and Reilly together.
The new Blu-ray featuring three different cuts of “Anchorman 2,” including the super-sized R-rated version, is now in stores.