Will Ferrell

Zoolander

We’ve been hearing rumors about a second Zoolander feature for what seems like years now — hey, it has actually been whole years! — and while we never exactly gave up hope that we would (one day!) suck back another hot batch of orange mocha Frappuccinos with the gang again, we haven’t been holding our breath on the feature. Turns out, that’s a good thing! We, like, totally would have died! But Zoolander 2 does apparently live, and it’s started casting to prove it. Deadline reports that Zoolander 2, set to be directed by star Ben Stiller and with a script by Justin Theroux (remember, he penned Tropic Thunder for Stiller), will feature a part for Penelope Cruz of all starlets, with Stiller back as the Blue Steel-faced model moron, and rumors that we can expect to see both Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell back for more vigorously persisting. There’s no word on what we can expect to see from the film beyond this particular line-up of talents, but we’ve got some ideas. Here’s what we need — nay, require — from Zoolander 2:

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Henchmen Ill Suited

“Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay” might not mean a lot these days. Under their Gary Sanchez banner, they’ve given us disappointments like The Campaign, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and this summer’s Tammy, to name just a few. Even Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was a slight letdown. Their future might seem no better, with movies like a Hansel and Gretel sequel, a Flintstones feature and an adaptation of the TV series Manimal all in development. But maybe their first animated feature could be something to actually look forward to. Titled Henchmen, the film will be co-written and directed by Adam Wood, a former Pixar animator who also helmed a direct-to-video mermaid movie starring Barbie. As in the doll. While the feature won’t be out for another two years, according to Deadline, Wood recently completed a related short titled Henchmen: Ill Suited. It’s not exactly a teaser trailer, as some are making it out to be, but it’s also not necessarily a condensed version of something we’ll see extended in 2016, either. On the Vimeo page, Bron Studios clarifies: “The short isn’t being turned into a feature per se. More like the short is a teaser for the larger world that is to come. Just a little taste.” Deadline is right to compare the short to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as it involves a guy with a mop who accidentally makes a big mess of the place he works. But rather than a sorcerer’s apprentice, he’s a janitor at a museum in Supervillain City. The […]

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The-Interview-Skylark-Tonight-MTV-Special-Iggy-Azalea

Remember the movie Rubin and Ed? If not, maybe you at least remember when Crispin Glover appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in character as his role as Rubin. That was the time the actor nearly kicked the talk show host in the face. The problem there was partly that Letterman didn’t know what was going on. Also, neither Rubin and Ed nor Glover were familiar enough to warrant such a stunt or for that sort of promotion to work in their favor. Years later, Joaquin Phoenix drew comparisons to Glover when he appeared on Letterman’s Late Show acting strangely. It turned out he was also in character, albeit for a project then still in the works rather than as a promotional stunt. Well, actually it sort of worked as that, too, but either way it wasn’t helpful in wooing audiences to the movie involved, I’m Still Here. Both that and Rubin and Ed were box office failures. As was The Love Guru, which stars Mike Myers as a goofy spiritual guide. He tried to boost interest in the comedy by appearing on American Idol as the character, Maurice Pitka. Such a gimmick is also harmful to the integrity of the show that allows it — particularly if it’s a show that’s not interview or otherwise publicity based — but it can be especially damaging to the movie being promoted. Usually it’s a case of the stunt falling flat rather than the conception of the stunt itself, and the Pitka character was […]

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Manimal

If there’s anything that modern police procedurals are missing, it’s a star on the force who can go above and beyond the call of duty by quite literally bending the laws of human physiology. It’s really not that much to ask for, is it? That dashing hero of law enforcement was found for a brief while in the short-lived 1980s series Manimal, which introduced us to Dr. Jonathan Chase, a cultured and wealthy individual who used his upbringing in Africa to unlock the many secrets that divide the human and animal worlds. Those secrets apparently uncover what allows humans and animals to seamlessly transition between species, because Dr. Chase takes advantage of his newfound knowledge by doing just that. As Manimal, he fights crimes by morphing into different animals. If that seems like a farfetched premise with not much reason behind his need to morph — he could probably catch a bank robber just as easily as a human man as he could as a bottle nosed dolphin, right? Then, it comes as no shock that the series was canceled after just eight episodes on air.

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The Flintstones

If someone put a gun to your head, then asked the following question: Who would you rather see in a Flintstones reboot — Seth MacFarlane or Will Ferrell? What would you say? Thankfully, none of us will be doing a prehistoric Sophie’s Choice anytime soon, because the decision’s already been made. THR reports that Ferrell and Anchorman series director Adam McKay will be executive producers on a new Flintstones movie for Warner Bros., with frequent Ferrell collaborator Chris Henchy penning the script (Henchy also wrote Land of the Lost, The Campaign, The Other Guys and the upcoming Ferrell vehicle Daddy’s Home). MacFarlane mounted a Flintstones TV reboot in 2011, but it fell apart for various reasons. Some (the executives at Fox) said the script was no good, while others (Seth MacFarlane) said MacFarlane was just too busy to work on it. Who knows where the truth lies.

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John C Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers

When Anchorman 2 was announced, the Adam McKay and Will Ferrell collaboration was a blessing for fans of the original film. Sure, another Anchorman movie meant that Ron Burgundy, Champ, Brian and the whole gang would be back for a new adventure after years of anticipation, but it also meant something truly terrible: a sequel to Step Brothers would never happen. The Ferrell and John C. Reilly film, in which two 40-something screw-ups are forced to move in together after their parents get married and then subsequently become best friends, is one of the finest comedies of our times — I’ve waxed poetic about its greatness before — and after the lackluster continuation of Ron Burgundy’s story, the fact that we wouldn’t be able to hear another refrain of “Boats ‘n Hoes” only hit harder. But today’s news is sweetening that bitterness just a little bit with word that Ferrell and Reilly are teaming up again for a different kind of story, and McKay is set to direct this one, too. According to Deadline, the duo will reunite for Border Guards, the tale of two All-American citizens who take it upon themselves to patrol our border with Mexico for illegal immigrants. Naturally, they’re both well-meaning idiots who can’t do their job properly, meaning they somehow wind up on the other side of the border without their passports or a way to get back home. It’s now up to them to figure out how to sneak back into the United States.

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Will Ferrell and friends in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“It’s done. I think that’s it. It was great to do it, and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.” So says Adam McKay, director, co-writer and producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when asked about a potential third installment. Will Ferrell, along with castmates Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner will make their final run together on the big screen starting today, with an R-rated, extended cut of the most recent theatrical release, with over seven hundred new jokes, which essentially turns this version of the film into a massive comedy stew of scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and a whole lot of improvisational comedy. It’s a seven day run in theaters, and according to McKay, that’s the last new Burgundy you’ll be getting from the Gary Sanchez Productions crew. Though it made $169,268,368 USD total gross worldwide, McKay appears content to move on to new projects, additionally shooting down another prospective sequel in Step Brothers 2 with some finality whilst discussing an Anchorman trilogy.

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Anchorman 2 Shark

February 28. One week only. See Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in theaters nationwide. That sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? Anchorman 2 was already in theaters nationwide. It was actually there for a period of several weeks, during which anyone who wanted to see it probably did so. But director Adam McKay knows there’s always an audience for more of Ron Burgundy’s classy-yet-extremely-deplorable hijinks, and more importantly, he knows that there’s a mountain of unused improv footage from the filming of the Anchorman sequel. And so next week will see the release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version. It’s the same movie, more or less. Same story, same characters, same proud, firm mustache hair. The only difference is that McKay, Will Ferrell and several editors, through the ease of modern digital editing, have gone through the original cut and excised every single joke (save for a few that are story-necessary). Then, they filled each gap with an unused yuk found on the cutting room floor- 763 yuks, to be specific.

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Ferrell and McKay

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.”

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review the lego movie

You’d be right to be cynical about a Hollywood movie based around a bestselling toy with a high price point and a lack of prepackaged story inside the box. The movie business is just that, a business, and when they join forces with toy manufacturers to make “entertainment” for children the results are rarely satisfying or recognizable as anything but crummy, feature-length commercials. But every rule has an exception, and The LEGO Movie is that gloriously wise, beautifully crafted, and unabashedly fun anomaly. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an average guy whose continually optimistic outlook is fueled by his appreciation for, and obedience of, President Business’ (Will Ferrell) instructions for living. They tell him to park within the lines, drink overpriced coffee, root for the local sports team… everything necessary for an orderly, structured, and “perfect” community. That illusory perfection is threatened by a prophecy stating that a lone hero will rise to liberate the people through organized chaos, and as luck would have it, Emmet appears to be that hero. Or not.

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The Lego Movie arrives in theaters February 7, 2014, but there’s been no shortage of video content introducing us to the world and characters the interim leading up to the release. There are a lot of characters. And oh, what fun it appears we’ll be in store for. I’ll admit, I’m already kinda sold, but I’m highly biased. My love of Lego is borderline unhealthy.

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tiko and shark

Much of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is more of the same from Ron Burgundy and the gang. As the lead character, Will Ferrell does the news, does some ladies and has a few meltdowns. Brick says idiotic things, Champ says inappropriate things and Brian Fantana has a special cabinet alluding to his assumed sexual prowess. Oh, and Veronica Corningstone is back and mad at Ron again. There is even another cameo-filled brawl. But there are a few things added in that we didn’t see in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, like Ferrell wrestling with a shark that calls to mind scenes with a cougar and a bear in Talladega Nights and Semi-Pro, respectively. The sequel reminded me of some other movies besides those in the filmography of its star. Sometimes this was the intention of the filmmakers via a direct reference. Other times it was just the usual wandering of my brain making relevant associations. Occasionally the reminders came externally from another writer’s comparison. Regardless of where this week’s list of recommendations came from, I’ve wound up with a nice variety of titles about broadcast journalism and keeping sharks as pets plus selections highlighting some of the cast’s other work worth checking out. Queue them up for your holiday week, why don’t you. As always, the following may involve SPOILERS as some of the titles below are linked to specific plot points of the movie.

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ferrell and mckay 02

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. When people talk of the best modern actor/director duos, they tend to leave out Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Maybe it’s because unlike 12 Years a Slave (the latest Fassbender/McQueen), Inside Llewyn Davis (the latest Goodman/Coens) and The Wolf of Wall Street (the latest DiCaprio/Scorsese) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues won’t be winning any major awards this year. But the latest from Ferrell/McKay is scoring high marks from critics and audiences. And since their first feature collaboration, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, they’ve consistently delivered the comedy goods. Look at the funniest of Ferrell’s movies over the past decade and you’ll see they’re primarily McKay’s. And you won’t even find any movies directed by McKay not starring his old Saturday Night Live buddy. It’s actually at SNL where this perfect duo technically made their first film together. While Ferrell was a cast member and McKay was head writer, McKay began his move to directing by creating the show’s Digital Shorts brand of videos, which were initially just sketches fully produced prior to the live airing of the program. The original Digital Short debuted on February 5, 2000, during an episode hosted by Alan Cumming and featuring J.Lo as musical guest. Titled either The H is O or The Heat is On depending on which part of the credit sequence you accept as being the title, it […]

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mckay

As their world keeps evolving, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his news team remain the same guys we met 10 years ago in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. They’re stuck in their adolescent and ignorant mindsets, which Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues challenges. For a man like Burgundy, real drama is having to accept a black woman as his boss. Heavy stuff. The old Channel 4 news team may not have changed, but their sequel has. Co-writer/director Adam McKay and his characters were barely bound by structural rules, giving Anchorman 2 some wild directions to go in. To no surprise, McKay took full advantage of those opportunities, and 60% of the time it worked every time. I spoke with McKay, who explained his improv method for the film in depth, described his minor battles with the MPAA and revealed the cameos he wanted but couldn’t get.

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review anchorman 2

Comedy sequels hardly ever inspire confidence. Most attempt to recapture what worked about the first movie, but that’s never proved to be the right way to go about it. That decision tends to lead to a calculated and stale result, missing the point of why its predecessor caught on with an audience in the first place: it was unexpected. Thankfully we have one exception to the rule, and it’s called Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Co-writer/director Adam McKay‘s sequel stays in tune with the spirit of the first movie, and sometimes revisits beats as well, but that approach is fitting for characters aren’t exactly fond of change. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Champ Kind (David Koechner), Bryan Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) are more or less the same people we saw in the first movie. The world is going through changes, but these four haven’t developed in the slightest. Some of the film’s best laughs come from them having to embrace these changes, like, having a black female boss. The movie starts with Ron Burgundy being fired, pushed away from his home, and, worst of all, working at SeaWorld. It’s the beginning of the end until a man, played by Dylan Baker, offers him an unlikely position as an anchor on a 24 hours news station. At first Burgundy scoffs at the idea, but when money comes into the equation, he takes the job and goes on a road trip to wrangle up his old news team. Bryan Fantana is […]

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Anchorman

Just in case you haven’t heard, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is storming into theaters this December and bringing the Channel 4 News Team back into our lives. With the announcement of the sequel to 2004’s beloved Anchorman came a slow but steady progession of trailers and fun marketing tactics that only amplified the excitement surrounding another round of Ron Burgundy. First came Will Ferrell visiting the set of Conan in character as Ron Burgundy in March to play a little jazz flute and announce the sequel. Clearly, it was delightful and people flipped their lids when they spotted that finely-crafted red suit hit the stage. In the months since March, the buzz grew with several trailers and the usual release of stills and one-sheets. But then came the constant in-character promotions and endorsements. Have we reached peak Burgundy saturation?

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There’s something undeniably charming about The LEGO Movie. Sure, it may be a feature-length toy commercial, and the toys in question will undoubtedly engineer some vast takeover of every store on planet Earth, but who could resist our Danish building block overlords when the product they’re hawking is so clean and crisp and inviting? With stop-motion animation and a voice cast going for broke with giddy childlike enthusiasm, the directors of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs may have just made the greatest feature-length toy commercial ever made. In this new theatrical trailer (or as YouTube awkwardly puts it, the “Official Main Trailer”), we’re given a greater look at the story that will string us along from LEGO set to LEGO set. Emmett (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary LEGO dude who falls into a hole and is thus mistaken to be “The Special,” a mystical hero destined to save the universe from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) with the help of a love interest (Elizabeth Banks), a wise old sage (Morgan Freeman) and Batman (Will Arnett). Some of the humor in the trailer may fall a little flat, for sure. But there’s a frighteningly huge supply of talented voices in the cast including Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill, and the animation is so endearing it’s practically a controlled substance. Who could possibly turn The LEGO Movie down?

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Anchorman 2 Shark

Ron Burgundy! Yes. The latest trailer for Anchorman 2 is pitch perfect in its racist, chauvinist, animal-loving majesty. Trying to rise through the milk-soaked ashes, Burgundy and the team attempt to make their mark on the world of worldwide news. It looks like they’ll be facing all sorts of progressive ideas and a handful of ball checks. Plus, Ben & Jerry’s just announced they’d be making a Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream flavor in honor of the movie, so daydream about that while this:

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Ferrell and Reilly

Like chocolate and peanut butter, or whiskey and Diet Coke, or burritos and Tapatío, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are one of the most magical pairings known to man. The duo previously starred together in Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers (and to a really messed up extent as uncle and nephew in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie), and now they are teaming up again for Devil’s Night. Devil’s Night is October 30th, the day before Halloween – and the day when the real fun happens. Anyone who has had Monday classes when Halloween fell on a Sunday can attest to this. Ferrell and Reilly will star as Leonard and Gabe, who become best friends on the holiday as children, but are also torn apart by its chaos and destruction. Fifteen years later, they are forced to reunite to save their neighborhood after Devil’s Night grows out of control.

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talladega nights 16

With Rush out in theaters, we wanted to revisit another racing classic of two bitter rivals whose competition drove them to not only be better drivers but also better people. That’s right, we are talking about Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which sees the title character (Will Ferrell) face many obstacles on his quest to prove he is the best race car driver in NASCAR all while being pitted against his polar opposite, French driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Coehn). Where Ricky is sponsored by Wonder Bread, Jean is sponsored by Perrier. Ricky is married to “stone cold fox” Carley (Leslie Bibb) while Jean is married to world-class German Shepherd trainer Gregory (Andy Richter). But the major difference between these two drivers is Ricky truly loves to race whereas Jean is starting to find himself drawn to other pursuits — you know, things like training Komodo dragons in Sri Lanka and teaching them to perform Hamlet. Talladega Nights is classic Ferrell taking on a caricature of not only NASCAR drivers but also the world that, uh, drives this sport. Neither Ricky Bobby nor Talladega Nights ever hesitate to dive head first into stereotypes, but it also immediately takes the wind out of those ideas without coming across as preaching. Ferrell leads the charge, but the entire cast is hilarious and prove that no one in the film is just there as set dressing. Everyone has a punch line to deliver. Join us as we look at ten of our favorite scenes from the movie below.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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