The trades reported this morning that Will Ferrell and his writer-director pal Adam McKay have signed a two-year, first-look deal with Paramount's specialty division, Paramount Vantage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal will be focused on low-budget films ($10-20 million), not for Ferrell to star in, but to enable the pair to "grow a brand via their newly formed Gary Sanchez Prods." Vantage president John Lesher, feeling that Vantage is leaning too high-brow (they're making both No Country for Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson's oil epic, There Will be Blood), was eager to add some projects that would broaden the division's base, both in terms of genre and target audience. Lesher, however, is not slumming: He feels McKay's and Ferrell's contributions will be "sophisticated and fresh material," just like the rest of the Vantage slate.

I gotta say that I'm not going to instantly call BS on Lesher's ravings here, though that's my normal inclination with studio spin. I mean, sure, Anchorman is full of stupid humor. But it's also way weirder and smarter than most mainstream comedy -- it could have been a lucky accident, I guess, but at least until Talladega Nights comes out, we can remain hopeful about the quality of the films that will come out of this deal.
categories Movies, Cinematical