Take it from Will Ferrell – some jobs just aren’t worth the money. When Ferrell got the call that Elf would have a sequel, he was initially excited and not just because of the $29 million paycheck. However, once he started reading the script, he realized that this movie wouldn’t be nearly as good as the first time around.
Elf was one of Will Ferrell’s earliest hit movies which released in 2003. His role as Buddy the Elf was one of the first after the comedian left Saturday Night Live. Fortunately for the actor, the film was an instant hit and is now a staple Christmas movie. During its premiere, the film brought in a total of $220 million at the box office.
With how successful Elf turned out to be, it’s no wonder the production team wanted to recreate the effect. But according to the starring actor, the writing just wasn’t up to par. So, taking the money and promoting the film would have felt like a lie.
“I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money,'” Ferrell told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.'”
Will Ferrell Explained How Second ‘Elf’ Film Differed From the First
While the first Elf film was full of family-friendly entertainment, the second would have been more adult-centered. Suffice to say, it would be a bit more racy and a lot more vulgar.
“[My manager] was like, ‘Well, the family one went great, but we could really get eviscerated in this next one. I’m looking at a bunch of what looks like USC frat boys about to go in,'” Ferrell, a former member of Delta Tau Delta at USC, stated. “Then later I hear, no, that group actually liked it, too.”
Although Elf 2 never came to fruition, it seems that Will Ferrell did his fans a favor by keeping the film from ever surfacing. A king of comedy, Ferrell has a good sense of humor and is the ultimate expert on what fans will find funny. So, if he didn’t like it, chances are, we wouldn’t either.
In contrast, Ferrell spoke to one sequel that he was proud to be a part of – Anchorman 2. Unlike what producers had in mind for Elf 2, this sequel fed off of the comedy created in the first film and furthered the storyline. He concluded that Anchorman 2 was “a sequel worth having.”