Anchorman 2 & Zoolander 2 Can Be Made If The Price is Right
Bad news hit recently for comedy faves Ron Burgundy and Derek Zoolander as both Anchorman 2 and Zoolander 2 were apparently having problems (via tweets from Adam McKay and Ben Stiller) getting off the ground due to budgetary concerns from Paramount. However, Deadline has dug a little deeper into the issue and has discovered that both sequels still very much have the potential to be made, but only if they cost around $40 million. What it comes down to is, no matter how successful both original comedies were domestically, their international box office performance left something to be desired. So how's the outlook?
Well it seems like Anchorman may have more to overcome than Zoolander. Last week, via Facebook, Adam McKay said that they lowered their budget for the Anchorman sequel to around the cost of Step Brothers ($65 million) and that was after actors Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate (who are pretty much all much bigger names then they were back in 2004) reduced their own paycheck for this. Honestly, with the starpower this sequel has now, six years later, you would think $65 million wouldn't be that big of a deal, but apparently the studio isn't budging. Meanwhile, Deadline says McKay and company won't even start on a script unless Paramount agrees to their budget estimate.
On the Zoolander sequel front, we don't really have an idea of what their budget looks like, but obviously it must be more than $40 million if Ben Stiller felt the need to tweet about their greenlight woes. Much like Anchorman's talent, Zoolander's Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have increased their star power dramatically since the original 2001 comedy, which, despite a lack of huge box office success (after all it was released two weeks after 9/11), has found a sizable audience on DVD. Both of those guys (not to mention potentially Will Ferrell) are set to return, but with Justin Theroux, who wrote Iron Man 2, writing and directing this time.
Obviously the reasoning behind these budget restrictions are a reminder of the harsh reality that no matter how fantastical and outrageous some films turn out to be (even on DVD), this is all a part of show business, and you can't have a business if you don't make money. I get it, Paramount, I really do, but you've got a very strong established fanbase for both of these films to the point that whenever Stiller or Ferrell (or anyone remotely involved with either Anchorman or Zoolander) are interviewed, they're asked about sequel plans.
So if Paramount is being difficult, is there any chance either of these sequels could find a home elsewhere? Deadline is on top of that though (especially since McKay addressed such suggestions on twitter) and while having either property go to another studio isn't a bad idea, it's not likely since Paramount previously put Twilight and John Carter of Mars into turnaround and they're not anxious to miss out on the kind of money they're certainly losing on both of those. Anyway, it sounds like there's still hope for these films, but it will be quite the uphill battle. Let Paramount know just how much you want to see these sequels!