Many people cried out "Great Odin's Raven!" (or something to that effect) when Will Ferrell appeared in character as Ron Burgundy on Conan earlier this year to announce that Anchorman 2 is happening. This came after a few years' worth of rumors and reports that Paramount hasn't always been keen to move forward with the sequel (despite the substantial demand from Anchorman fans), due to the prospective cost of reuniting the first film's now big-name cast.
Nonetheless, things eventually worked out and now Anchorman co-writer/director Adam McKay is collaborating with Ferrell on the script for Round 2, which picks up with Burgundy and friends at the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle.
The Playlist caught up recently with McKay, who went into further detail about what to expect as Ron and his news team deal with the changing times - and how the sequel will poke fun at the idea, much like Anchorman had fun with the general counter-cultural movement in the 1970s:
"... I mean what is this 24 hours news, and this wall of white noise information, has it really been good for our country? The great thing when you find a point of view like that is that it doesn't have to be preachy or didactic, it's also funny. It's just funny that Americans have to contend with 2000 channels, and 60 different specific news sources, and the confusion that it creates, and the junk that we get to see is hilarious. That's what we're always kinda looking for, what's the point of view that's got life to it and plays."
McKay and Ferrell also lightly satirized NASCAR culture in Talladega Nights and Wall Street in The Other Guys (passing over the end credits of Other Guys, that is), so by now they should have a good grasp on how to keep the jokes hitting hard and fast even while serving up, uh... thoughtful social commentary (remember, this is still Anchorman 2 we're talking about). Ferrell and director Jay Roach had mixed success with that approach on the political yuckfest The Campaign, but there's reason to be hopeful that the combined might of McKay and Ferrell can improve in that area (especially with the help of a comedically-capable supporting cast that includes Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate).
McKay also mentioned Anchorman 2's history as a Broadway stage musical (at one point during development) - and how elements from that version of the project will be carried over into the actual film:
"There will be some music in 'Anchorman 2' though for sure, we have some songs already written. We were going to do 'Anchorman 2' as a Broadway musical first, for like six months and then go shoot the movie. That was our initial idea. [There will be] whole song sequences, absolutely."
Full-blown musical sequences featuring Ron and the gang have the potential to be pretty hilarious, so that's encouraging to hear. The same goes for McKay's plans to feature plenty of celebrity cameos and appearances in Anchorman 2 (identical to the first film by the likes of Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, and Danny Trejo, among others):
"We're talking about for 'Anchorman 2' creating a murderer's row of the best day players ever. Like having every single one line or three line role, just be someone we just love."
Anchorman 2 is currently scheduled to begin principal photography in March 2013. We'll let you know when an official release date has been settled on.
Source: The Playlist