Adam McKay's Anchorman is already a deeply strange film (for as long as I live, I will never forget my first viewing, in a nearly-empty theater on opening day), but a new interview with star Will Ferrell suggests it was once much, much weirder.
“The first version of Anchorman is basically the movie Alive, where the year is 1976, and we are flying to Philadelphia, and all the newsmen from around the country are flying in to have some big convention. Ron convinces the pilot that he knows how to fly the charter jet, and he immediately crash-lands it in the mountains. And it’s just the story of them surviving and trying to get off the mountainside. They clipped a cargo plane, and the cargo plane crashed as well, close to them, and it was carrying only boxes of orangutans and Chinese throwing stars.
So throughout the movie we’re being stalked by orangutans who are killing, one by one, the team off with throwing stars. And Veronica Corningstone keeps saying things like, ‘Guys, I know if we just head down we’ll hit civilization.’ And we keep telling her, ‘Wrong.’ She doesn’t know what we’re talking about.”
Adam McKay's Anchorman went through a number of rewrites and changes on its way to the screen (if you've ever seen Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, you know that a ton of alternate stuff was filmed, none of it as entertaining as the plot description above), but this is the first we're hearing about a plane crash in the mountains and orangutans wielding Chinese throwing stars. Is it too late to get this version made? Can we crowdfund it?
Anyway, pour one out for what could have been in the comments below.