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Adam McKay reveals details about “Anchorman 2″ plot and backstory

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If you hadn’t already heard, we’re pretty freaking excited about “Anchorman 2.” Fortunately, we aren’t alone in that. Director Adam McKay spoke about the long anticipated sequel with Salon and The Hollywood Reporter and had plenty to say about the film.

First off, he and Ferrell are going to likely start writing the script next week with a planned shooting start date of January or February and release anywhere between Christmas 2013 and May 2014. And even though Christina Applegate’s Veronica Corningstone is not going to be Ron Burgundy’s lady love this time around, McKay does believe there will be a role for her in the film.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll just give a couple pieces of ideas that we’ve kicked around. Keep in mind we’re still writing the story, but I’ll say one phrase for you: custody battle. I’ll give you that. I’ll give you one other one: bowling for dollars,” he told Salon.

He added to THR, “Kind of in the ‘Austin Powers’ tradition, they always flip out the lead lady. No, we haven’t written it yet, but we have an idea for [Applegate] that we think is pretty cool. So tentatively right now she’s in.”

McKay went on to explain how “Anchorman 2″ finally, finally, finally got made (another movie at Paramount fell through) and dish what the budget for the film will be ($50 million). But one of the more interest aspects from the THR interview addresses what time period “Anchorman 2″ will take place during.

“I’ll tell you we’re staying roughly period, and I would just say it’s the next stage in the development of American media and news. The fun of these characters is they confront change very poorly. [laughs] So they’ve got some more change coming their way. I can say that pretty safely,” he teased.

As eight years have passed since “Anchorman” was released, our guess is that a similar amount of time will have elapsed on screen as well. Does that mean we’ll get a chance to see our favorite Channel 4 news team living in the 1980s? Only time will tell.

Turns out that the cast is about as ecstatic about the green light as we are. McKay described their response as “overjoyed,” which is good considering they all agreed to come back on board for the sequel.

“I bumped into [David] Koechner, who was just beaming,” McKay tells THR. “[Paul] Rudd sent me an email, ‘I can’t believe it! Oh my God!’ When the announcement was coming on ‘Conan,’ I saw [Steve] Carell tweeted it. It’s one of those pure joy type projects, where we just had so much fun on the first one. We’re all still friends. It’s going to be fun as hell, man. We couldn’t be more excited.

What do you think of these new details about “Anchorman 2″? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Luke Wilson talks “Anchorman 2″ and hopes for “Old School” sequel

Luke Wilson in "Anchorman"

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San Diego’s favorite scotch-drinking newsman is returning to the big screen for “Anchorman 2,” but what about his competition over at Channel 2?

IFC recently spoke with actor Luke Wilson about his new movie, “Meeting Evil,” in which he plays a downtrodden salesman who has a deadly encounter with a mysterious stranger played by Samuel L. Jackson. When asked what he thought of Will Ferrell’s announcement that a sequel to “Anchorman” was in the works, Wilson offered up some thoughts on the potential return of his character in the film, Channel 2 lead anchor Frank Vitchard, who was last seen getting his remaining arm ripped off by an angry bear.

“Somebody just told me [about the sequel] last week,” Wilson told IFC. “I didn’t know about it, but I’d love to do it. But then I remembered, ‘Oh yeah, I lost both my arms in the last one.'”

“So who knows? I hope they bring me back,” he laughed.

Asked why the prospect of another “Anchorman” outing was so appealing, Wilson recalled the day he filmed the memorable brawl between rival news teams in the 2004 comedy — a scene that featured him alongside Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Tim Robbins.

“That was a really funny day of work, just to look over and see Will, Vince, Ben Stiller Tim Robbins…” he said. “It was such a weird mix of people. You’re in a great mood all day, and you leave thinking that it will be really funny. I really love doing stuff like that, and it would be fun to do that again.”

As for what sort of role his character might play in a sequel, Wilson was at a loss.

“I have no idea,” he said. “That would just be really funny. Will and Adam [McKay] are so funny that hopefully they write me in there.”

“I might have to remind them,” he laughed.

Given all the talk of sequels, IFC asked Wilson which of his own films he’d most like to return to for another chapter. After all, with a long list of leading roles on his resume, there’s a lot to choose from.

“God, it would be really fun to do something with Will and Vince again like ‘Old School,'” he said. “I think that was what ‘The Hangover’ basically was, but they couldn’t really get ‘Old School 2′ going. But that would be really fun.”

“And I always like working with Owen [Wilson] and Wes Anderson,” he added. “There’s nothing we could do a sequel of, but it would be nice to put that whole gang back together.”

Keep an eye on IFC.com for more from our “Meeting Evil” interview with Luke Wilson. “Meeting Evil” is available now via On-Demand and will hit theaters May 4.

Would you like to see more “Old School” or another Wes Anderson movie with Luke and Owen Wilson? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Go behind the scenes of Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman 2″ announcement

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy from "Anchorman"

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The world was rocked by Will Ferrell’s announcement last night that an “Anchorman” sequel is officially in the works. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but needless to say people were pretty thrilled.

Ferrell was quick to post a behind-the-scenes video of himself as Ron Burgundy from yesterday’s taping of “Conan” to Funny or Die. You know what they say: 60 percent of the time, it works every time in helping to promote a movie.

It turns out that maybe Burgundy wasn’t quite so sure that the deal would come together, but he went with his gut and made the announcement anyways.

“Here’s the thing. I just was speaking off the top of my head. I don’t know if we have the rights to my life story or not. We’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out,” he said after the show. “And anyway, get ready, it’s coming. It’s coming. The further chronicling of my life. And I hope you can handle it. It will be up close.”

You’ve got a dirty, whorish mouth, Ron Burgundy. Fortunately, we know for sure that “Anchorman 2″ is happening. Adam McKay tweeted confirmation of the news, Variety ran an official trade story confirming the return of Ferrell, McKay, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner, and there’s even a Ron Burgundy Twitter account. His first tweet was very true to form.

“Hey America & Hawaii. Looks like Paramount & my lawyer Gene Tigerworthy have agreed to terms on a sequel to Anchorman. Whiskey sours on me!” he tweeted.

We won’t have to wait that long for “Anchorman 2: Return to Pleasure Town” (or whatever it will eventually be called) to reach theaters. McKay said he and Ferrell are writing the script now, and filming is set to start in February with a release later in 2013.

Are you excited “Anchorman 2″ is actually happening? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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