It’s a little hard to believe but Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy turns 15 this year and yet the film still feels as fresh as the smell of Brian Fantana’s cologne.
But for all the crazy trident throwing and outlandish fights between San Diego’s top news teams, there was a point in time where the idea of Anchorman was even crazier than what we got and involved a bizarre combination of plane crashes, throwing stars and deadly orangutans.
Chatting on The Bill Simmons Podcast (via EW), Will Ferrell revealed that his and Adam McKay’s original, incredibly outrageous idea for Anchorman was set in 1976 and involved newsmen from around the country flying in to Philadelphia for a big convention.
Ron somehow convinces the pilot that he can fly the jet and he immediately clips a cargo plane carrying orangutans and Chinese throwing stars before crashing it in the mountains.
The movie then turns into a bonkers survival story where all the newsmen are trying to find civilisation but are getting picked off one by one by the orangutans, who are now armed with the throwing stars.
It honestly sounds like someone watched Cast Away while high and decided to write their own version of the movie, and the result was this first version of Anchorman.
But as amazing as that idea was, the movie studios weren’t biting and Ferrell said it was rejected 10 times in one day. Can’t imagine why the suits didn’t go for the idea.
Even acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, who really wanted to help Ferrell and McKay get a movie made, thought their Anchorman idea was weird and told them to tone it down just a tad.
It’s a bit of a shame we never got to see the Channel 4 news team take on deadly orangutans with hand grenades and bottles of Sex Panther but let’s not lose all hope just yet.
Anchorman 2 came out in 2013, nine years after the first. If they decide to make another sequel, they already have a slam dunk idea in the can. Bring on Anchorman 3: Ron vs the Orangutans in 2022 and remember to stay classy, San Diego.