Update: Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg Reteam for Comedy ‘Daddy’s Home’

By November 5, 2014
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[Update: Paramount has issued a press release stating that this film is moving ahead with Ferrell and Wahlberg in the lead roles and Sean Anders directing. Filming begins later this year, and the movie will presumably be in theaters sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. Our original article from earlier this summer follows.]

Adam McKay is best known for the Anchorman movies and Step Brothers, but I actually think the first half of his 2010 comedy The Other Guys is up there with some of the best work he’s done so far. The humor drops off considerably in the back half as the story ties together, but the movie gets off to a great start as McKay plays with conventions of buddy cop movies while stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg humorously clash as mismatched police officers. I still think about this moment from the movie and laugh about it:

Deadline reports that “talks are heating” (whatever that means…heating? Just heating? Not heating up? I don’t know) for Mark Wahlberg to team with Will Ferrell in a Gary Sanchez-produced comedy called Daddy’s Home. The story would see Ferrell as “a mild-mannered radio executive who strives to become the best stepdad ever to his wife’s two children. Complications ensue when their freewheeling, freeloading real father (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing stepdad to compete for the affection of the kids.” As indicated above, I’m a big fan of seeing Ferrell and Wahlberg work together on screen, so I’m definitely on board with this movie.

This is actually the second time the two actors have tried to reunite after The Other Guys. They were all set to star in a Thanksgiving movie called Three Mississippi, but that one fell apart after McKay surprisingly got the nod from Paramount to direct Anchorman 2 almost a decade after the original movie hit theaters. EW had a great description of that project:

The idea was originally conceived for Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin…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 Wahlberg 1

That project sounded like a blast, and even though I was happy to hear about Anchorman 2 finally getting made, it was a shame that this project had to fall apart to make that happen. But Daddy’s Home might turn out to be just as fun as Three Mississippi could have been, or – if it does well – it might even be enough to get that project back on track. After all, we know McKay isn’t going to direct Ant-Man, so maybe he’ll have time for it in a year or two.

McKay isn’t directing Daddy’s Home – that job will fall on Sean Anders and John Morris, of Sex Drive and Horrible Bosses 2 fame – but are you looking forward to seeing Wahlberg and Ferrell team up again on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.