• The original cut of
    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
    scored a low score of 50 out of 100 with test audiences, signifying a major problem.
  • The studio gave the production money for reshoots, and director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow came up with an entirely new ending that featured more of the news team interacting.
  • Anchorman
    ‘s original ending can be seen in the
    Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy star Will Ferrrell reveals that the movie originally didn’t test well with audiences and needed a whole new ending. Released in 2004, the hit comedy film features Ferrell as San Diego news anchor Ron Burgundy, who believes his career is under threat when female anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is hired as his colleague. Anchorman, which was directed by Adam McKay and produced by Judd Apatow, would go down as one of the funniest and most iconic movies of Ferrell’s career.

During a recent appearance on Messy, Applegate’s new podcast, Ferrell recalls that Anchorman originally didn’t look like it was going to be a success. According to the actor, the movie wasn’t testing well with audiences, and they ultimately had to shoot an entirely new ending. Check out Ferrell’s comments (via IndieWire) below:

“So here’s an interesting thing about ‘Anchorman.’ We put the movie together, we do our first test screening. You test screen your movie and it’s a score from zero to 100. We were like, ‘That seemed to play pretty great.’ We get the score back; it’s a 50. Not good. It’s not good. And that can either go one way or the other. There’s a panic button that’s hit, or, luckily, the studio was like, ‘Let’s figure it out.’

“They gave us a budget for reshoots. Judd [Apatow] really helped to be a steady hand in that regard. And so all of that, the whole pandas and the bears and all that, that’s five days of a re-shoot. An entirely new ending was shot. [In] the original movie, Christina’s character is abducted by a vigilante group. They were kind of like a comedic version of Patty Hearst. They’re making a political statement and she’s taken up to the conservatory and we have to go rescue her.

They just didn’t like that storyline at all. We just lost the audience. When it was the news team and all of us interacting, we would get them back. We had to basically reshoot the ending.”

Anchorman’s Updated Ending Was The Right Choice

How You Can Watch The Original Ending

Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate with Baxter in front of a bear in Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy

While the original ending features some of the same absurd comedy the rest of Anchorman became known for, the updated ending delivers on one of the key strengths of the film: its ensemble. Anchorman‘s supporting cast members like Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner were a key part of why the film worked so well. It wasn’t just the actors themselves that made the film sing, however, but the chemistry between them.


10 Funniest Moments From The Anchorman Movies, Ranked

Both of the Anchorman movies are full of memorable moments, all of which are the result of the cast’s impeccable comedic timing and acting talents.

It sounds like Ron’s news team was a part of the rescue attempt in the original ending, but the updated zoo ending evidently made the four interact more as they rescued Veronica from the bear enclosure. The new Anchorman ending, thankfully, doesn’t feel out of step with the tone of the rest of the film, and Baxter’s miraculous survival and return to calm the bear ended up being a particularly memorable moment.

Those looking to experience the original Anchorman ending can actually do so by watching Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie. This film, which serves as a counterpart to the original, comprises outtakes and scrapped storylines from the original movie, including the Veronica kidnapping plot at the observatory. Although Wake Up, Ron Burgundy features some fun additional scenes, it certainly doesn’t have the reputation that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy does, suggesting the ending reshoots were the right choice.

Source: Messy (via IndieWire)

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