We’re waiting to find out if 70-year old Harrison Ford is reprising his other iconic role, by playing a silver-haired Han Solo in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. While debates carry on about the pros and cons of Ford and his fellow original trilogy cast members returning for more adventures in a galaxy far, far, away, the seasoned fan-favorite actor has agreed to stretch his comedy muscles with an appearance in the Will Ferrell sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
Coincidentally, Ford’s previous (rare) foray into the genre was the Rachel McAdams flick Morning Glory, which Abrams co-produced. There, he played a curmudgeonly reporter/anchorman who’s drawn out of retirement, only to constantly bemoan and complain about the current state of news journalism and media affairs.
THR says that Ford has singed on for the Anchorman sequel, where he will play “a legendary newscaster a la Tom Brokaw.” It stands to reason that he’ll be turning in a performance reminiscent of his Morning Glory character, providing a serious foil to Ron Burgundy and his crackpot associates. That includes new addition Kristen Wiig, playing a possible love interest for dim-witted Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).
Ferrell and his co-writer/director Adam McKay (working together for a fifth time) begin shooting the belated followup to their 2004 hit this month in Atlanta, so Ford should be one of the final casting announcements; that’s assuming the majority of the surprise actor cameos aren’t spoiled ahead of time. However, we are still waiting for confirmation either way about the possibility of Terence Stamp playing a Rupert Murdoch-type broadcasting mogul in the movie.
Ferrell offered two servings of his trademark absurd comedy and lampooning last year, between Casa de mi Padre and The Campaign. However, only the latter managed to draw in his customary-size crowd at the box office, while the overall critical reception for both films was of the positive, but mixed, variety. In other words, the Anchorman sequel could buck Ferrell’s recent trend or confirm that his shtick just isn’t as popular as it used to be (we’re hoping for a hit, naturally).
Meanwhile, Ford isn’t waiting on a possible return to the Star Wars universe to re-energize his career. His last onscreen appearance was in 2011 with Cowboys & Aliens, but this year alone Ford’s showing up in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia and the highly-anticipated Orson Scott Card adaptation Ender’s Game (in addition to the new Anchorman installment).
Look for Anchorman: The Legend Continues in theaters on December 20th, 2013.