It was bound to happen: Ron Burgundy, the egotistical news anchor played by Will Ferrell in 2004’s”Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and this winter’s “Anchorman: The Legend Continues,” will have his own leather-bound book (undoubtedly smelling of rich mahogany). According to Rolling Stone, a new book supposedly authored by Burgundy will be out on November 19th. But that’s not all: the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which features Burgundy and his fellow newscasters on the cover, also offers some insight into the film’s plot as well as revealing what would have been had the film come to fruition in its original form: as a lavish Broadway musical.
Firstly, the book will be entitled (get this) “Let Me Off At The Top!,” and according to a press release will offer “a rare glimpse behind the camera into the real life of a man many consider to be the greatest living news anchor.” Ferrell and the series’ director Adam McKay aren’t listed as co-authors, but Burgundy himself said (in the same press release) that he didn’t “know if it’s the greatest autobiography ever written,” but that he still “cried like a goddamn baby” the first time he read it. While a jokey book tie-in is always kind of a dicey proposition, if McKay and Ferrell had anything to do with it (which we imagine they did), it’ll probably be pretty solid.
Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly breaks down the possibility of the ‘Anchorman’ sequel heading to Broadway instead of movie theaters, with McKay and Ferrell, who worked on Ferrell’s blockbuster one man show “You’re Welcome America” (where he played George W. Bush on his last night in the White House) initially batting around the idea when Paramount seemed uninterested in a follow-up. “We thought we could kind of do the old Marx Brothers model where we perfected it onstage for six months, got all the jokes tight, and then we shot it,” McKay told EW. The entire cast, including Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner, were “ready to go,” and Paramount even liked the idea.
“We had our story arc, we were kicking around song ideas, we may have even contacted a Broadway producer at one point informally,” McKay told the magazine. “We even had a discussion about what we’d do at the end of the six months: Would we have a replacement cast? Would people come see it if it was, for instance, Alec Baldwin doing Ron Burgundy instead of Will?” But as they continued to discuss the possibility, the more it seemed out of reach. “We had dinner with Josh Gad once, and I was asking him about ‘The Book of Mormon,’ ” Ferrell told EW. “I said, ‘I’m just curious: How long did it take for you guys to put that together?’ And he was like, ‘Well, we work-shopped it for four years…‘ We had no real idea how much work it takes to mount a musical.”
But alas, it was not meant to be. “I think on some level we would have sold it on how bad it was,” Ferrell joked to EW.
The new issue of the magazine reveals further details about the movie’s plot, too, with the magazine revealing a change in love interests for the well-coiffed anchorman. While Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is in the movie, EW revealed that Meagan Good (NBC’s “Deception“) plays Burgundy’s “eventual love interest.” “We get off on the wrong foot because [my character] thinks they’re all idiots,” Good told the magazine. “But it ends up being an opposites attract thing.”
Also of note: McKay said that he only got 60% of the budget that he needed for the movie but all of the actors took extreme salary cuts to make it work. You’re welcome, planet earth.