Will Ferrell and Adam McKay wear many hats in this industry. As writers, directors, and actors, they’ve leant their touch to countless comedies that have that distinct Ferrell-McKay edge: both Anchorman films, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, among others. That’s because they wear one of those hats together, as Gary Sanchez, Paraguayan financier, enterprenuer, and film producer at Gary Sanchez Productions.
Ferrell and McKay have announced that Gary Sanchez’ next move is to launch a sister label that will focus on female-driven television and film projects. Gloria Sanchez Productions, named after Gary’s favorite step-grandaughter of course, will be headed by longtime Sanchez executive Jessica Elbaum. Elbaum worked with the duo on Step Brothers and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and served as the producer of their female-centric film Bachelorette in 2012, which starred Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and Rebel Wilson. Apparently the Gloria Sanchez venture was Elbaum’s idea, one that Ferrell and McKay wholeheartedly backed, if their official statement is any indication:
“When Jessica came to us with this idea, we thought it was fantastic. She has worked with some of the great female voices in comedy and has proven herself as a gifted producer who has a keen eye for material.”
As an already well-respected production house that churns out films featuring some of the most talented people working in comedy today, the decision to add a division devoted to focusing on females in comedy is a smart and welcomed move. The house has promised to work with “established and emerging female voices,” and already has the hilarious Bachelorette under its belt. The Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon burglary flick Tammy is the next film to come out of the house. Given Ferrell and McKay’s track record for hit comedies and their impressive roster of friends in the genre, they’ll have plenty of success attracting funny ladies to Gloria Sanchez.
What they, and Elbaum, need to do with that power is harness it into developing comedies that aren’t one-note stories that just have a female cast slapped on the cover. I think we’re all in agreement that Bridesmaids and The Heat were wonderful, funny films that utilized their female characters extremely well; they weren’t just funny for women, but great comedies in general. And by now, if you’ve read anything about comedy or film since Bridesmaids premiered, those facts have been drilled into your skull, as well as the fact that there is definitely a dearth of suitable comedic roles for women in film right now.
Gloria Sanchez is arriving at just the right time — won’t it be nice to read an article that cites more than those two films sometime soon?