NEW YORK - Fans have been waiting for a sequel to 2004's "Anchorman" for years so there was a great deal of excitement this Spring when Will Ferrell appeared as Ron Burgandy on "Conan" to announce a sequel was finally on the way. Studio Paramount Pictures, which now controls the rights to the franchise, even went so far as to have the principal cast shoot an original teaser trailer for "Anchorman 2" which appeared in front of "The Dictator" last month. It was public knowledge that Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay were still working on a screenplay for "Anchorman 2," but it was expected the film would shoot sometime this summer in anticipation of a release one year later. That won't be the case.
Speaking to Steve Carell today during an interview about his new movie "Seeking a Friend at the End of the World," the original "Anchorman" ensemble member revealed the sequel won't even begin shooting until February or March of 2013. Comedies usually don't require as much post-production work as CG-intensive action films, but that's cutting it close for even a prime August slot that summer. This late production date may be one reason "Anchorman 2" is still only dated as "2013" by Paramount. It is also likely that's why Christina Applegate was finally able to announce she could return for the sequel. Assuming it gets picked up for a full season order, Applegate should be finished with her commitments to NBC's "Up All Night" early into "Anchorman 2's" shooting schedule.
Carell noted that he wouldn't have been able to make "Anchorman 2" work if he was still on "The Office," and that he, Paul Rudd, David Koecher and Ferrell all needed their individual schedules to synch up. That appears to now be in the first quarter of next year.
The role of moronic weatherman Brick Tamland was one of Carell's big movie breaks after he made a name for himself on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Carell is expected to shoot Charlie Kaufman's "Frank or Francis" and Nat Faxon/Jim Rash's directorial debut, "The Way, Way Back" before the "Anchorman" sequel.
Look for more on Carell's thoughts on "Seeking A Friend at the End of the World" and video of his "Anchorman 2" comments later this week on HitFix.