Generally-speaking, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t nearly as beloved as its highly-quotable predecessor, but for many people just getting to spend another two hours with Ron Burgundy and his news team – whether they’re crashing RVs or brawling with other reporters in the streets – was enough to justify the sequel’s existence.
Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay’s approach to comedy filmmaking relies heavily on improvisation and spontaneity, so there was a ton of material shot – then later discarded in post-production – for the Anchorman sequel. The original Anchorman movie featured so much cut footage (abandoned subplots, skits, alternate takes, etc.) that an entire separate film was put together using the leftovers for the film’s home video release, with the final result being an inter-quel of sorts called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie.
However, in the case of The Legend Continues, Paramount Pictures has decided to go ahead and fashion the discarded material together into an alternate R-Rated cut of the Anchorman sequel, which is going to get a week-long theatrical release to boot. The studio has now released an official trailer to announce the occasion; because it’s the all-audiences friendly green-band preview, that means you’ll have to see the actual movie to get a taste of the adults-only humor contained within (well, except for the hint of Steve Carell’s penis joke).
McKay has issued the following statement about the alternate cut, “officially” dubbed Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – Super-Sized R-Rated Version (with 763 “new” jokes, to be exact):
“When my editor told me we had a whole different version of the movie that was more than two hours long with nearly 800 new jokes, I was shocked. But when Paramount said they were actually going to put it in theaters, I did an 1950’s spit take. If you’re a hardcore Anchorman fan go see this. If you’re not, stay very far away.”
Here is an additional clip from the alternate cut of Anchorman 2, teasing a tweaked version of a scene where Ron (Ferrell) and his cohorts demonstrate a popular new form of chemical-based leisure activity:
Ferrell and McKay’s script work may’ve lack the memorable satire and irreverent punch packed by its predecessor, but the actual film managed to recapture some of that old magic, thanks to its talented comedic ensemble cast. The promise of R-Rated Burgundy hijinks should be promising enough to get some people back in theaters, though the sequel has already grossed $125 million in the U.S. alone – meaning, many Anchorman fans may’ve already gotten their fill, with regard to the sequel.
Additionally, since all the material in the R-Rated version was left out from the original theatrical cut, you have to wonder how much of the material was simply too risqué to be featured in the more box office-friendly PG-13 iteration of the comedy… and how much of it was simply not that good (at least, not good enough to make the original cut) to begin with. We’ll find out soon enough, of course.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Super-Sized R-Rated Version will screen for a week (probably longer, if it’s successful) in U.S. and U.K. theaters, beginning on February 28th, 2014.