EXCLUSIVE: ‘Anchorman’ Stars Okay Pay Cut For ‘Bigger, Crazier’ Sequel, Could Shoot Febraury 2011

“Anchorman 2″ is the Bigfoot of the movies world. Everyone wants to see it happen, reports even occasionally surface about sightings but, in truth, it may very well just not exist. I mean, it’s real to an extent. Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, Adam McKay and Steve Carell have all talked openly about it, wanting to do it. Carell even told us recently that it’s already been shot, though we’re pretty sure he was kidding.

MTV’s Eric Ditzian recently spoke with writer/director McKay, who also has “The Other Guys” coming out this summer (August 6), and he revealed that there’s more to the ongoing saga of “Anchorman 2″ than the fans actually realize. Many have speculated that the sequel hasn’t happened primarily because the talented cast have only become more famous since the 2004 release, and pulling them together for an ensemble with their busy schedules is difficult. As it turns out, there’s more to it than that.

“It’s a tricky movie because everyone went and did really well after it, so everyone’s prices went up and everyone’s time got a little more valuable. But at the same time, graciously, Steve and Paul and everyone agreed to cut their price to come and do [the sequel], which you don’t see very often in Hollywood — and cut their price substantially. But even with that, it’s just a budgetary thing with Paramount in terms of how much they’ll give us to make it.”

So for the time being McKay and his supporters are caught in negotiations, trying to make everything work out. “We had an idea and we contacted Steve and Paul and [David] Koechner and Christina [Applegate] and checked in with everyone and they were all game for it,” McKay said. “The stage we’re at now is talking to Paramount and trying to get the money to do it.”

The hope is that the studio considers examples from the past in weighing the decision to budget a second “Anchorman.” It’s probably a safe bet, given the wild popularity the first movie generated and the subsequent mega-success of its stars. “’Austin Powers’ didn’t make a ton of movie in its first go-round and then it caught fire in the next one,” McKay explained. “We’re hoping they’ll look more at that sort of projection.”

If the movie does get the go-ahead, the plan is to polish off a script this fall and then be ready to roll cameras by February, 2011. McKay wants fans to be clear though: that seems like a bigger and bigger “if” as time passes. The plan is still to set the sequel in the ’80s… but with a twist.

“That’s loosely what the idea is,” McKay said. “[The ’80s angle is] more the frame of it. We have this other, bigger, crazier idea that’s really more what it’s about, which I can’t say. Our thinking was there’s just no way the second one is going to be as good as the first, because the first one is the first one. So our idea is if we’re going to do a second one, we better go for it and try some insane stuff and we’ll be enjoying it and that way it can’t be half bad.”