By Thuy Ong
SYDNEY (Reuters) – - Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” crossed live to Australia on Sunday, walking down a burgundy carpet at the comedy’s premiere in Sydney to the cheers of swarming fans.
Following the news team as they adapt to working at a 24-hour channel, the highly anticipated sequel to “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” reunites Farrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate.
The 2004 original, with the dapper Burgundy challenged by the arrival of the ambitious Veronica Corningstone, won cult-like status on the back of plucky one-liners and satirical commentary on the ingrained sexism of the 1970s. It made about $90 million at the box office.
Ferrell, who plays the central character, said he thought fans would enjoy the sequel.
“Each one has a new life to itself and I think they’re all fun in their own way,” said Ferrell. “I think what’s fun about these characters is they really don’t show any emotional growth whatsoever.”
Director Adam McKay, known for his collaborations with Ferrell, was already holding out the possibility of a third movie.
Due for public release on December 20, the sequel features cameos by a raft of celebrities including Liam Neeson, James Marsden, Nicole Kidman and Kanye West.
“I think if you liked the first one you’ll like this one. It raises the bar a little from the first one. I don’t think the writers rested on their morals. They took this idea and amplified it,” said Carell, who returns as not-so-bright weatherman Brick Tamland.
In character as Burgundy, Ferrell has conducted a guerrilla marketing campaign by cycling with electronic music duo Daft Punk, presenting at the MTV European awards, releasing a short video before the Australian elections and serenading embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on television.
“We tend to shoot it as written and we work around it. Will is such an incredible improviser and Adam likes to work like that and there’s always crazy stuff happening,” said Paul Rudd, who plays reporter and ladies’ man Brian Fantana.
“I don’t think these characters evolve too much. But things have happened in the interim.”