Will Ferrell’s Elf is a widely modern-day Christmas classic that’s bursting at the seams with festive cheer. The comedy movie frequently ranks on lists of the best Christmas movies, boasts a hearty 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has even been adapted into a stage musical. It’s strange then that despite its immense popularity, it’s never got a sequel.
Well, Ferrell has lifted the lid on why we’ve never got another adventure starring Buddy the Elf. Apparently, he has been approached about making a second Elf movie – and offered an eye-watering $£29 million to star in the film – in the past but declined because he doesn’t think a sequel would live up to the quality of the first family movie.
“I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Which would’ve been, like, “Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money.” And I thought, “Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.”
There had been reports that friction on the set between Ferrell and director Jon Favreau on set was the reason we never got a sequel. James Caan, who plays Buddy’s father Walter, told Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan’s Bull & Fox (as reported by the Daily Mail) that both Ferrell and Favreau had clauses in their contracts that meant a sequel couldn’t move ahead without both attached.
“The director and Will didn’t get along very well,” Caan explained. “So, Will wanted to do it, he didn’t want the director, and he had it in his contract, it was one of those things.”
Elf tells the story of Buddy the Elf (Ferrell) who as a baby is accidentally taken to the North Pole after an accident involving Santa’s sack. While there he’s adopted by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) and grows up thinking he’s just an extraordinarily tall elf.
One day, though, Buddy learns the terrible truth he’s actually a human, and even worse his biological father Walter (Caan) is on the naughty list. So begins Buddy’s adventure from the North Pole to New York City to meet his dear old dad and turn him from a Scrooge to a Santa fanboy.
If you love Elf check out our list of the best fantasy movies, there are elves in those films I promise.