This weekend was the junket for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay’s follow-up to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. First of all, the movie is hilarious; while it’s less absurd and more story driven than Anchorman, it still packs in an astonishing number of insane moments and great lines.
At the junket McKay and Ferrell said they see the new movie as the second in their “Mediocre American Man” trilogy (aka “The Colon Trilogy”), which means that there’s still another one to come. Ferrell explained the “Mediocre American Man” concept: “That’s a term that kind of happened. It’s endlessly fascinating to us, and it’s really funny – people who think they’re great who are not. Who are far from it. There’s something really humorous about unearned confidence that makes us laugh. That feels like something we’ll always go back to.”
“Will playing prideful, mediocre guys is a joke we never get tired of,” said McKay. “Will plays unearned hubris better than anyone.”
McKay wasn’t willing to spill the beans on the third film just yet. “We have two ideas. The first idea we had was him as a CEO, but that seems to be fading. We had CEO, we had him as an astronaut and now we have a third one, which is the one we’re kind of leaning towards but I won’t say it. We haven’t sold the pitch yet, so if I say it, it could let the air out.”
Personally I love the idea of Will Ferrell as an astronaut. Whatever the concept is, this film will be an R. “We’re tired of threading [the PG-13] needle,” sighed McKay.
The third Mediocre American Man movie will have to wait a little while, though, because the next Ferrell/McKay collaboration will be something that reteams him with Ricky Bobby’s best friend, John C Reilly. “We so fell in love with John C Reilly in this that we want to do another film with Will and John C Reilly,” McKay said at the junket. Later, in an exclusive interview with yours truly, McKay expanded on that – as much as he was willing to.
McKay: We’re going to go out and sell the pitch in a couple of weeks, so I probably shouldn’t say yet. What I can tell you is that, in reaction to this NASCAR one this is more of a Meet the Parents type of idea, where it will be in a house on a street, with like no car crashes. It’s more of a domestic comedy. And it’ll be rated R. No more of this PG-13 stuff.
Q: Domestic comedy… are they getting married?
McKay: We’ll see… we’ll see… you’re not too far off!
The interviews from this junket will run closer to the film’s release. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby opens August 4th.