In late March, the Internet was buzzing with the news that Paramount gave the green light for director Adam McKay to helm Anchorman 2. But with that signing, McKay was subsequently forced to drop the Will Ferrell / Mark Wahlberg football comedy Three Mississippi, which he was to have directed before news of Anchorman 2 broke. Luckily, a new team has been hired in to helm the project.
The Hollywood Reporter has word that Sex Drive duo Sean Anders and John Morris will now direct Three Mississippi. The movie centers on the feud between two families, over an annual Thanksgiving touch football game that has existed for 50 years. Ferrell and Wahlberg, who previously teamed up for the 2010 McKay comedy The Other Guys, will play as the heads of the opposing households.
Anders and Morris are no strangers to comedy, having helmed films such as Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine, She’s Out of My League and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Not only will the two be directing Three Mississippi, but they will also be making a few rewrites to the script.
Based on McKay’s description of the movie, its quite possible that we could be seeing Alec Baldwin, Jeremy Renner, and Rob Riggle being added to the cast of the movie. But the description was made well before McKay announced he would be directing Anchorman 2, so who knows if the three actors are being considered at this time. Still, the idea of Renner starring in a comedy is fun to play with. It’s something we haven’t seen since the actor starred in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip. Here’s how McKay described the film via Entertainment Weekly:
It’s about these two rival families from — we’re thinking Philadelphia but we need to check in with Wahlberg and Ferrell and see what kind of accents they want to do. [Laughs] Alec Baldwin is the patriarch of one of the families, and Wahlberg is his son. He saw the Kennedys playing football on their front lawn at Thanksgiving, and boom, that’s it: “Anything the Kennedys do, we’re doing.” His family starts playing the other family that lives across the park from them. Over the years, Baldwin’s family hasn’t done too well — they own a crappy little bar in town — while the other family, which Will’s character eventually becomes the patriarch of, becomes really successful. The game gets nastier and nastier as the years go on, and Ferrell’s family starts just destroying the other family. After a massive heart attack, Baldwin’s character’s dying wish is that his estranged son, Mark, take over the game and finally win one. So Wahlberg has to put this ramshackle, convict, gambling-addict family back together again and beat the richies. The whole spirit of it is that it’s just a giant, fun ensemble comedy. We want to populate it with people we love. There’s a funny subplot with Rob Riggle where he’s a gay cousin that Wahlberg’s family sort of turned their backs on but he played football at Fresno State and they need him. We’re going to try to get Jeremy Renner to play an ex-con. The idea is to bring in, like, 15 people that we love in and just do a big, funny holiday movie.
Ferrell is producing with his Gary Sanchez Productions partner Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. Now that the project has a pair of directors, Warner Bros. is eyeing to start production in September. Though there is no official release date set, it is hard to believe that Three Mississippi won’t be released some time near the Thanksgiving holiday.
Anders and Morris’ upcoming comedic feature That’s My Boy, starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samburg, hits theaters on June 15th. [xx]