Anchorman is a very, very silly film. It’s somehow been a major part of my life ever since I first saw it. For a couple of years, catchphrases from it would roll into everyday conversation. Depending on my mood, anyone who was confused would either get a dull and drawn-out explanation of why that was funny, or just be told to see it.
Long after this phase had passed, remarkably (or maybe pitifully), Anchorman came back into my life as I began uni. It was incredible that this particular brand of American humour was a common source of banter with a completely new set of people. Now, there always seems to be an Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy DVD, left out of its case, stranded somewhere near the TV. I don’t usually notice it, but there are times when seeing that disc lying around will send a rush through my body which flies out of my mouth in the form of a garbled suggestion to watch it (usually to no one in particular).
Talk of an Anchorman sequel has been going on for about two years, with all members of its main cast and creative team speaking enthusiastically about it as the same questions repeatedly come up in interviews. And this week, MTV’s movie blog has reported that the film was closer than ever to being made, with filming potentially beginning at the start of 2011. Director Adam McKay has said: “It’s just a budgetary thing with Paramount, in terms of how much they’ll give us to make it”. But despite reports that actors were willing to take low salaries in order for things to move forward, comments recently made by its main star, Will Ferrell, are less enthusiastic. Speaking in March, he said: “I thought we were doing it. I was told it was happening and now I’ve heard it’s going to be too hard to get everyone together”. He and Steve Carrell are now stars who have dabbled in the bigger-budget action-comedy arena; have a look at the recent Date Night, or the trailer for The Other Guys, a buddy cop film also directed by McKay and co-starring Mark Wahlberg.
Regardless, there’s a distinct possibility that I’ll eventually find myself queuing up to see the return of Ron Burgundy, and whilst it’ll be tough to destroy my love for his original incarnation, some films are best left alone. Anchorman is a pleasure for the improvisation that runs through it, something which seems absent in Ferrell’s recent work. In certain scenes, you can laugh at a joke or a piece of dialogue and simultaneously feel the inventive energy behind it, making it easier to appreciate its originality.
Unlike the case with other cult films, however, these are creative abilities which make up the livelihoods of Anchorman’s writers and comedians. When asked about Anchorman 2 at a Date Night premiere, Steve Carell joked that it had already been made: “We shot it in just two days… they just turned the camera on… and I think we were drunk most of the time”. Something made with that sense of fun and eccentricity would be far more interesting than the explosions he and Ferrell are running away from on-screen this summer.