Will Ferrell Reveals Huge Payday He Turned Down For Elf 2

Apparently, Will Ferrell turned down a massive payday to star in Elf 2. It is a mind-boggling sum to say no to, but the superstar did it

By Carolyn Jenkins | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

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When Elf first hit the screen it was an instant hit with Will Ferrell embodying everything it meant to be one of Santa’s helpers. But it only got one story, which frankly, seems nuts. Out of the limelight recently, it has been a long time since Will Ferrell has spoken about his family film Elf. But in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, that is just what he has done. In this interview, Will Ferrell was promoting some interesting new prospects, but he has also revealed information about a potential Elf 2 that never came to be and the staggering sum he turned down.

During the interview, Will Ferrell recounts a brief tale about the potential sequel. He was being offered $29 million dollars to star in the Elf 2. For many, this would not have been a difficult choice. But Will Ferrell continued to say that his appearance in the sequel would not have been genuine. Ferrell states, “I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.’”

Will Ferrell also goes on to say that the sequel would have been too similar to the original. This is the only mention of the beloved film in the interview. But it may have been a blessing in disguise. Elf is one of Ferrell’s hallmark movies. And after being out of the spotlight for so long, he is now returning.

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Already a household name at the time because of his work on SNL, Will Ferrell had also been making a circuit for feature films. He filmed Old School with director Todd Phillips. But directly after came Elf which became considered a Christmas classic. In this day and age, it’s almost inconceivable that Elf 2 wasn’t made considering the original earned more than $223 million at the box office.

There had originally been an Elf 2 planned with Jon Favreau apparently coming back to helm the sequel. The studio wanted Will Ferrell back in the main role. But Favreau didn’t think he had the story in him and, as stated above, Ferrell wasn’t just looking for a payday.

Will Ferrell has been recently promoting his new AppleTV series, The Shrink Next Door. It is based on the true events surrounding the strange occurrence of therapist Ike Herschkopf and his patient Marty Markowitz. The show is based on these real events as well as the podcast of the same name. The podcast was produced by Wondery and ran for ten episodes.

The Shrink Next Door television series cast Paul Rudd as Dr. Herschkopf and Will Ferrell as Markowitz. This is not the first time that Rudd and Ferrell have worked together. Among many credits, one of Ferrell’s famous comedies was Anchorman where Rudd also starred. The show is a reunion of sorts and displays humor as well as Ferrell leaning towards the dramatic.

The Shrink Next Door also has cast Katherine Hahn as Markowitz’s sister Phyllis. Hahn is another familiar face who has recently reached cult success with her role as Agatha on WandaVision for Disney+. The Shrink Next Door follows Markowitz’s attempt to get control over his life. His sister convinces him to see a therapist. Immediately Dr. Herschkopf begins to display unethical actions towards his new patient. While Markowitz starts to demonstrate more happiness in his life, his friends and family also start to notice downward trends. Markowitz spends all his time with his new therapist. There are no boundaries between the two and Markowitz calls Dr. Herschkopf his best friend. 

Both Ferrell and Rudd have demonstrated ability for dramatic roles in the past as well as comedic. Rudd in particular has had success in the Marvel Universe. Will Ferrell’s return looks to be promising. Viewers can watch the Elf star be true to his comedy roots as well as telling a new story.