In the Future with Ferrell, McKay & Reilly


Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have established quite a long career together going back to their days together on “Saturday Night Live” but it was their 2004 hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy that first suggested they would be mainstays in the world of film comedy. Their second movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby was even more successful, and recent developments like their groundbreaking comedy site Funny or Die and the slew of movies and television shows being developed under the auspice of their production company Gary Sanchez Productions suggests they’ll be making us laugh for a long time.

This Friday, they’re reunited with Ferrell’s “Talladega Nights” co-star John C. Reilly for the new Sony comedy Step Brothers and had yet another chance to talk to the trio, both in an exclusive interview with McKay and roundtable interviews with the two actors.

One thing we wanted to ask them about was the recent announcement by McKay on Funny or Die that we’d be seeing more of Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy character in the future as both Ferrell and McKay were interesting in revisiting him in a sequel to “Anchorman.”

“We just had so much fun making that movie, and it was hard to get made, but what’s been great is that it’s taken on such a life of its own,” Ferrell admitted. “At least the feedback we get is it’s beloved, so yeah, it’s just one of those that feels like an evergreen thing that we can go back and do it again.”

“We had a lot of ideas,” McKay confirmed to us later in an exclusive interview. “The opportunity to be that free and loose. The audience would give us a lot of rope with that character at this point, a lot of free rein. They all know it, and they all know it’s going to get crazy, and that’s just too tempting. It’s like oh my God, where can we go? What’s the next level of this idea we can push to?” A suggestion of showing Ron in the ’80s had been discussed. “We got about seven ideas we’re kicking around right now, so somewhere out of all of them, it will somehow fit together.”

McKay was going to develop and direct the sci-fi comedy Channel 3 Billion before starting work on the “Anchorman” sequel, although that hit somewhat of a snag in the form of Disney/Pixar’s latest movie. “It’s kind of a ‘Brazil’-type comedy I’m kicking around. It’s not definitely set to go or anything but honestly, I went and saw ‘WALL•E’ and I was bummed out. ‘Ah, sh*t, that’s really good.’ They kind of covered some of the area I was going to play around with—the boat and everyone in the chairs with the screens and stuff, but I still might do it. I might modify it a bit and get it to work. I want to do one in that ‘Sin City/300’—I love that style with the half-practical, half-animated. I just think the possibilities for that are endless. I want to try to do not film noir, not action, but do kind of explosive science fiction.”

Ferrell and McKay’s production company have a TV series in production called “Eastbound and Down” that was just picked up by HBO that will shoot in the fall to air next June or thereabouts. It’s with Danny McBride and Jody Hill, both from the indie comedy The Foot Fist Way, and Ben Best. “We shot the pilot and the pilot is crazy funny, crazy dark,” McKay said about it. They also have The Goods: The Don Ready Story, a comedy about a car salesman co-starring McKay’s brother-in-law Jeremy Piven.

The last time spoke to Reilly, it was for the musical comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and while that didn’t fare particularly well in theaters, we asked him whether we might see Dewey Cox perform again. (Astute readers might remember how much fun we had at his New York concert last year.) “That movie has found a real audience for itself, maybe not at the box office–we got killed by the competition when it came out–but on DVD. I went to the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and among musicians, it is insanely revered, from Jack White to Robert Plant to Bonnie Raitt, anyone I came across my recent travels, they grab me by the shoulders and say, ‘Walk Hard! Me and my band and my roadies are obsessed with ‘Walk Hard” So yeah, that was a blast. I love to play music and I’d love to do that guy again. We’d have to take him out of the time machine again and do a new concert though.”

Otherwise, neither Ferrell or Reilly have anything else immediately in the works to talk about, Ferrell not quite ready to confirm his role as Mr. Watson in an update on Sherlock Holmes as reported earlier. “We’re still trying to figure that out in a way, so I haven’t really thought about that much,” he told us, lamenting the fact that Sony may have announced it somewhat prematurely here.

After Step Brothers, Ferrell’s next gig is starring in Universal’s movie version of the popular Saturday morning show Land of the Lost, which is scheduled to open on July 17, 2009. (Yes, it’s almost a year away!) You’ll definitely be reading more about that on CS in the next couple months.

In the meantime, Step Brothers opens on Friday, July 25. Look for our video interviews with the trio shortly and a lengthier interview with McKay later this week.