In the course if normal movie production there is always material that is shot but goes unused for a variety of reasons. But Anchorman 2 director Adam McKay wants to use some of the alternate takes and jokes from the production of the anticipated sequel to assemble an alternate cut of the film for release in theaters the same time that his “official” version will also be out.
Speaking with Empire, McKay revealed that there were a number of comedic sequences that were great in their own right but weren’t good fits for the overall film and offers as an example the scene in the recently released trailer for the film where Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and the rest of his action news team meet a new colleague who is gay.
It’s a really funny scene but it was connected to this larger thing that was really long and high in the second act and it kept stopping our momentum.
(Ironically, the scene features actor Matthew Stanton, who also had a scene in McKay and Ferrell’s Talladega Nights which also hit the editing room floor.)
McKay, however, has an idea of what to do with all that alternate material.
We did so much improv on this one that we can literally replace every single joke in the movie and put in alt scenes and alt improv runs. I think the editor’s working on it right now, with 250 new jokes. I think it would be really funny to put it in theaters for midnight showings. I know that I personally, if I loved a movie and someone told me that, like if Airplane! had been released with all-new jokes, I’d be like, ‘you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!’ I’d see it in a second.
This wouldn’t be the first time that McKay has assembled an alternate film out of unused scenes. After Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy took off on home video, he released Wake Up Ron Burgundy, a direct to video feature assembled from the film’s outtakes.
Currently, McKay has an edit of the film that runs 1 hour and 53 minutes, though as the film’s December 20th release looms closer, it is conceivable that he could tighten up just a bit more. But I know that I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to seeing an alternate version of the sequel and if Paramount wants to get that out into theaters as well, that would be fun. At the very least, the extra material should make for a well-packed blu-ray release.