Will Ferrell has put an end to talk of a Step Brothers sequel and while there will be plenty of Prestige Worldwide fans left disappointed, to us at loaded it ranks as the best film news we’ve heard this year.
Ferrell put the dampeners on the long-gestating talk of a follow-up during an interview with Rolling Stone in which he outlined the reasoning behind his decision.
“You have to resist the temptation,” Ferrell said.
“It’s just tough because the things everyone wants you to do sequels of are special because there’s not a sequel of it. I guess we’ll see, but as of now there are no plans. We just don’t want to be doing sequels of everything.”
In a year when blockbuster sequels, prequels and remakes are set to become the norm, Ferrell’s comments come as a breath of fresh air.
According to Den Of Geek, as of last January, 2017 was set to usher in a whopping 47 reboots, remakes and sequels. That works out at close to eight a month.
The trend only looks set to continue too, with any number of Star Wars, Marvel and Vin Diesel-led sequels in the works over the coming years.
Ferrell’s decision isn’t simply good news for anyone concerned about the continued dilution of Hollywood blockbuster fare either – it’s good news for fans of comedy.
If Ferrell needs an example of a fellow comedy actor who mistakenly returned to the well for a second outing, he need look no further than Ben Stiller and Zoolander 2 – a film he appeared in.
The movie was not only much maligned by critics but also a box office bomb, despite fans supposedly crying out for a follow-up for much of the time since the original.
Yet Ferrell doesn’t really need such an example – he’s already experienced it for himself with Anchorman 2.
Much like Step Brothers, the original Anchorman movie enjoyed something of a cult status among men of a certain age who were only too happy to quote the original repeatedly ad nauseam.
By the time the second film rolled around, nine years later, it soon became clear that not only were Ferrell and director Adam McKay unable to recapture the magic of the original, opting to instead repeat gags, but they also failed to build on the good will surrounding the first film.
Though the movie did good business at the box office, it left such a sour taste in most fans’ mouths with divisive reviews that even had some critics questioning the quality of the original.
Having previously spoken of doing a third film, Ferrell and McKay both quickly changed tact, with the latter eventually left unsure.
“I said about a month ago that we’d never do a third one, and I realized that was a little too harsh because the truth is, I really don’t know. With these movies, you really don’t know how they’ve played until about two years after they come out, when people see them on repeat viewing,” McKay told Time in early 2014.
Almost three years on and with few voices crying out for the return of Ron Burgundy, it is hardly a surprise to see Ferrell hesitant about reteaming with McKay, who directed the original Step Brothers, about doing a sequel.
It’s also nine years since the original Step Brothers arrived and, in truth, almost everyone involved has moved on – even Reilly’s on-screen dad, Richard Jenkins, has established himself as a respected character actor.
McKay has moved into more serious, original work with his last effort, 2015’s The Big Short, earning him an Oscar nomination while John C Reilly will next star in the action blockbuster Kong: Skull Island.
Ferrell, meanwhile, has another comedy, The House, in the works, which will see him team up with Parks and Recreations’ Amy Poehler.
Yet for all the desire to heap praise on Ferrell and Co. for saying no to a Step Brothers sequel, it’s probably worth remembering one thing – in 2018 Ferrell and Reilly will be reunited for Holmes and Watson, the comedic reimaging of the Baker Street detective.
So maybe we are getting a Step Brothers sequel – we just haven’t realised it yet.
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