‘Anchorman 2’ Will Re-Release Following an Emergency Joke Transfusion

By  · Published on February 24th, 2014

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.

As the title implies, many of these yuks will be wildly inappropriate, and the new Anchorman will be slapped with an R rating. It’ll also be considerably longer than the first of the second Anchorman films – in speaking to the New York Times, McKay refers to it “supersized.” He then adds, “you should feel free to get up, go the bathroom,” as the Anchorman director is apparently aware of how non-essential an alternate universe Anchorman 2 really is.

McKay pulled a similar stunt with the last Anchorman. When the film hit the DVD market, it was paired with a companion piece called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy!, an alternate version of Anchorman that had been pieced together out of old, unused footage. But the difference here is that Wake Up, Ron Burgundy! was its own film, comprised mostly of an abandoned subplot where a terrorist group hijacks the KVWN Channel Four News set. It’s all the parts of Anchorman that weren’t really good enough to make it into Anchorman, pasted together with some story glue; a cool and novel DVD extra, but a DVD extra nonetheless.

The totally acronym-worthy A2: TLC: SSRRV isn’t a “hey, we scrapped this together from some unused footage, check it out why don’tcha” piece of fun. It’s like an experiment in comedy, questioning if a movie can work just as well if you take out all the funny bits and replace them with completely different funny bits. It almost rings hollow, as though Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has so little tying it together that you can replace half the movie with something else and it’ll still function just as it did before. But then, it’s also an opportunity to see more Steve Carell eating things out of the garbage and laughing like an insane person, which I am all for.

Good or bad, Paramount definitely believes in this new and maybe-improved Anchorman 2. The re-cut is headed to theaters not because of McKay or Ferrell, but at the studio’s behest, which could be a sign that A2: TLC: SSRRV is actually a worthy midnight movie extravaganza. Or it could just be Paramount, who marketed the unholy hell out of Anchorman 2 last fall, and have jumped on a golden opportunity to cram another entire mass-media campaign into a single week of non-stop advertising. Brace yourselves for that.

For a sampling of these snazzy new jokes, please glance below.