Last month, star and co-writer Will Ferrell went on Conan in character to play the jazz flute and declare, "I actually have an announcement. As of oh-nine-hundred Mountain Time,
Paramount Pictures and myself, Ronald Joseph Aaron Burgundy, have come
to terms on a sequel to Anchorman." McKay added, via his @GhostPanther Twitter handle, that they were currently writing the script, with production scheduled to begin in February of next year.
Now, in an interview with Salon, McKay reiterated that he's in the middle of the writing process and went out of his way to be cautious, but still gave a few hints as to the story, saying, "I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll just give a couple pieces of ideas that we’ve kicked around. Keep in mind we’re still writing the story, but I’ll say one phrase for you: custody battle. I’ll give you that. I’ll give you one other one: bowling for dollars."
One castmember whose return has remained unconfirmed is the always-welcome Christina Applegate, but the idea that the film hinges in any way on a custody battle implies that we'll once again be seeing Applegate as Veronica Corningstone. Fingers crossed, anyways.
It's still unknown whether McKay, Ferrell, and company intend to stick with their previous plan for Anchorman 2. That plan called for a full-on musical, one that would be performed by the cast on Broadway for several months before principal photography on the actual film. Ferrell confirmed the Broadway plan last year when it looked like the sequel was dead at Paramount Pictures, but whether or not that remains the idea is shrouded in mystery.
Speaking of the years-long period wherein Anchorman 2 looked doomed, though, McKay commented on just how it finally came together, saying, "Well, first off, we went and did some other movies; that was the initial delay. By the time we heard from enough fans and heard enough of the demand for a sequel, it had been a few years. We went to the studio and they kind of weren’t into it initially. They said the original one made pretty good money, but for what it made we’ll give you this and this, and it was a very low budget. We would have all been working for free to do it."
"For the next couple of years," he continued. "We’d check in with them every now and then and go, 'Are you sure you don’t want to do it?' And finally they had said basically no three times and we had given up and thought all right, let’s go do another movie. We were playing with the idea of doing “Stepbrothers 2″ or another original movie. And just at the last second I said, go check in with them again and see if it’s just 100 percent dead. And, crazy luck, a movie had fallen through for them, their view on it had kind of changed and that was it."
For more with McKay, including his thoughts on Anchorman's ever-increasing real world relevance, head over to the interview at Salon.
With Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Funny or Die co-conspirators McKay and Ferrell back in the Channel 4 News room, Anchorman 2 also sees the return of Judd Apatow as a producer. Of course, the critical supporting players are also back: David Koechner as Champ Kind, Steve Carell as Brick Tamland, and Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana. Huzzah!