During a recent interview on the podcast A.D.D. Comedy, Steve Carell revealed an interesting tidbit about Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s original intention to stage the Anchorman sequel as a Broadway musical before developing it into a film:
When they first talked about a second Anchorman, the original idea was to do it as a Broadway musical. They were legitimately considering this. So Adam McKay and Will Ferrell contacted us and said “What do you think about we go to Broadway, we do a Broadway musical Anchorman 2, and like the Marx Brothers we sorta work out all sorts of bits while we’re doing the stage play, and then we segue that into shooting the movie Anchorman 2?” And we were all on board, we’ll work it out. And then they brought it to Paramount, and Paramount said “Oh yeah, no, that’s never gonna happen.” Not in a million years would they consider doing that. I thought it was a neat idea. I thought it would’ve been fun.
Considering the barrage of musical adaptation news lately, this sounds like the ideal way to go about Broadway versions of onscreen comedy things, especially considering the original Anchorman cast was all up to commit time and energy into the project. Sounds like a missed opportunity for Paramount, though the real loss belongs to us all.