As an addendum to last week’s reports from Adam McKay that an Anchorman sequel is dead in the musky water, Paramount “insiders” are now claiming that the studio would like to make the film after all, but only if McKay and Co. can do it for $40 million—as opposed to the $70 million “lowered” budget they had offered. Caught up in this same numbers game: Ben Stiller’s proposed sequel to Zoolander, which handsome-actor-turned-successful-screenwriter-turned-every-unloved-blogger-dude’s-object-of-jealous-scorn Justin Theroux was said to be working on earlier this year. Stiller himself took to Twitter not long after McKay’s mournful lowing, saying, “Ron Burgundy and Derek Zoolander looking to appear in sequels. Both men destitute, without means or intellect to fund their own comebacks.”
But according to those same insiders, the studio would also like to see Zoolander 2 happen, but again, only if it can also come in at around $40 million—and as with Anchorman, that could be tricky now that principals like Owen Wilson can command some of that Marley And Me money. Theroux is said to still be developing the script under the assumption that it will happen anyway, but Anchorman’s team refuses to even start working on ideas until they’re assured they can make the film for a mutually agreeable price. Deadline errs on the side of cautious optimism that “both films will be a struggle but could still happen, once the Twitter posturing is over”—a cautious optimism about which we’re cautiously optimistic.