Anchorman 2 is coming to theaters — again — with 763 new jokes. The raunchier version, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version, will run in 1,000 venues for seven days.
“This is a stitched up, Frankenstein version,” director Adam McKay told The New York Times, explaining 95 percent of jokes from the original version were replaced with more explicit versions from the improvisational scenes. “There are tons of leftover alternate takes when we shoot.”
Will Ferrell later talked with Jimmy Fallon about the revamped version during Thursday’s episode of The Tonight Show, explaining the original cut was four-hours long.
“We played around with the idea of splitting it in two movies, but that didn’t really work,” Will said. “We just had this second editor working the whole time with alternative jokes.”
McKay added to Entertainment Weekly the new jokes are “darker, odder, stranger” than those in the PG-13 edition. For example, fans may remember one gay-or-vampire joke from Anchorman 2 trailers… It didn’t make the first cut, but will run in the extended version. The rerelease also includes a “funny and enjoyable” — albeit off-story — musical number.
McKay said Paramount executives came up with the idea to rerelease the film rather than offer the standard extended cut with the DVD. It’s a fairly unprecedented approach — although The New York Times notes Woody Allen did something similar in 1966.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version premieres in 1,000 theaters on Feb. 28. The Blu-ray will feature both versions.