Back in October, director Adam McKay said he had so much leftover footage from shooting Anchorman 2 that he could “literally replace every single joke” and release an alternate version of the film. And to prove it, The New York Times reports that Anchorman 2 is returning to theaters for one week on February 28 with 763 new jokes—stripping out 95 percent of the gags from the original and replacing them with new, presumably raunchier ones that resulted in an R rating. McKay says they left some of the old ones in for continuity’s sake.
Surprisingly for the studio that prevented Anchorman 2 from happening for years because it didn’t want to give McKay enough money, Paramount insisted on a theatrical release for the new version, which we’ll call “Anchorman 2.1” for convenience’s sake. (Its official title is Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version.) McKay also told the Times that the new version is “considerably longer” than the 119-minute original, which could return viewers’ Ron Burgundy Fatigue to toxic levels after a nearly three-month break from the movie’s relentless marketing campaign.
All of this is possible, as McKay told us back in December, thanks to the comedy revolution prompted by the Avid editing system. “The changes you can do are so fast and facile. You can do two cuts in one night,” he said. How about three then?
While there’s no word on Anchorman 2.2, Anchorman 2.1 was also announced during Will Ferrell’s appearance on The Tonight Show last night, before he “figure skated” to the theme of Downton Abbey.