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
4. Wedding Crashers
We got the Wedding Crashers sequel with The Internship. Only the wedding environment was swapped for Google and there were a lot more jokes about coding. Doesn’t Hollywood know that Vince Vaughn can only thrive in a carefully manicured R-rated environment?! Will Ferrell returned for a role just as small as his part in Wedding Crashers, and really, his scene as the mattress salesman who looks like an ex-roadie for Sugar Ray is the best five minutes of the movie.
It looks like the little possibility of an actual Wedding Crashers sequel having any life was back in 2005. Jane Seymour confirmed to USA today that screenwriter Steve Faber told her he was working on a script for the sequel with her in it, but that evaporated quickly. Your best hope for a Wedding Crashers sequel at this date and time is to suck it up, and learn to enjoy The Internship.
Likeihood of happening: 1
5. Talladega Nights
Is the world really asking for another Talladega Nights? I enjoyed the prayer to baby Jesus just as much as anyone else back in 2006, but I’m not sure what a sequel would even look like. Maybe Ricky Bobby’s comes out of retirement to enter the monster truck circuit? I don’t know, just spitballin’ here. We’re never going to see a Talladega Nights sequel, but according to Adam McKay Ricky Bobby is living the quiet life selling vaporizers — for tobacco use only, of course. McKay penned a “Where Are They Now?” for Sports Illustrated and if you’ve got a few minutes to spare it’s worth a chuckle. Here’s an excerpt.
When you meet Ricky Bobby today the first things that strike you are the scraggly beard and the extra weight. He wears a dirty Transformers 3 T-shirt, and though he knows I am there to talk about his racing career, he can’t help but try to sell me a “water pipe.” You see, Ricky Bobby is now the owner of RB’s Smoke and Toke shop in Keneshaw, Ky.
Likelihood of happening: 1
It’s been 13 years since Ben Stiller brought Derek Zoolander’s trademark Blue Steel to audiences, and ever since people have been hoping for a sequel. Zoolander 2 first began to look like a real possibility in 2008 and 2009 when Stiller confirmed to Jonathan Ross that he would like to do a sequel and was looking at several scripts. Tropic Thunder co-writer Justin Theroux was set to write and direct the movie, and Owen Wilson revealed in 2010 that the working title was the Hans-appropriate, Twolander.
The movie currently has an IMDB page — though not much activity is going on — and as of June this year, Ben Stiller is still in hopes that we’ll one day get a sequel. He told a group of film students at the Taormina Film Festival it will likely happen.
“I can’t say that it’s actually a reality yet, but I hope some day it is,” he pledged. “It’s been about 10 years now. It’s going to be old Derek Zoolander.”
In 2011, Stiller’s description of the story would follow Derek and Hans as they try to become relevant again in the world of modeling and would feature Will Ferrell’s character Mugatu in “a big way.” As of December 2013 though, Jonah Hill is set to take over for Ferrell in the villain role.
Likelihood of happening: 7