Source: USA Today
When we all thought that the Yuletide season would be filled with “ho, ho, ho,” a “no, no, no” was instead received by the creators behind a well-loved Christmas film.
A sequel to the 2003 Christmas comedy Elf was in the works at one point. However, actor Will Ferrell recently revealed that he walked away from a 29 million dollar offer to star in the film.
In an October cover story for the Hollywood Reporter, Will Ferrell, who starred as the film’s eager protagonist, Buddy, said a follow-up to the “low-budget PG comedy” was written. Ferrell said he was offered $29 million for his involvement in the film, but he turned down the offer because it would have been inauthentic for him to sign onto a film with a premise he didn’t like.
“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 shared in an interview. “And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.'”
Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau, written by David Berenbaum, and starring Will Ferrell and James Caan with Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Bob Newhart and Ed Asner. The film follows Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. After learning that he was only adopted, Buddy then headed straight to New York City with the hopes of meeting his biological father. While he is on a quest for the truth, Buddy spreads Christmas cheer in a world filled with cynics.
Although the film was an enormous hit when it came out in 2003, having grossed over $220 million against a budget of $33 million, this did not convince Will Ferrell to accept the role of a well-loved character as he had doubts about the film and its impact on his career. He recalls “running around New York in his silly yellow tights, thinking, ‘Boy, this could be the end.'” Ferrell even said long ago that he would not do a sequel. In 2013, he appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” where he explained why. “It would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back into the Elf tights,” he said.
Since then, Will Ferrell has become more focused on taking more serious roles in his career in films such as Stranger Than Fiction, Everything Must Go, and the Lifetime drama thriller A Deadly Adoption. He is also involved in another holiday film entitled Spirited, a musical movie adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol alongside Ryan Reynolds and Octavia Spencer. More than anything, Ferrell mentioned that he wanted to continue tapping into the emotional relief of pure comedy, emphasizing roles that he knew would not only allow him to be authentic but also create a lasting impact on others.
“There’s just so much going on in the world, and sometimes it’s nice to turn your brain off,” Ferrell said.
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