Ron Burgundy Fans Will Love Longer, Raunchier Version of ‘Anchorman 2′

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Anchorman 2 is heading back to theaters on February 28 in an extended R-rated version called Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version that will be 20 minutes longer than the PG-13 version, containing 763 new jokes.

The film’s director and co-writer Adam McKay spoke to the New York Times about the decision to cut up Anchorman 2, stitch it back together, and give the film an extended theatrical release. “We started talking and realized, we can replace every single joke in the movie with another joke,” McKay said in a telephone interview with the Times on Tuesday.

When attempting to piece together an unrated version of the movie for its upcoming DVD release, McKay and the film’s editors discovered that the majority of the jokes could be removed and replaced with others without sacrificing the storyline. They had all this extra footage because of star and co-writer Will Ferrell’s heavily improvised technique, which resulted in him and the other comedians staying in character and cracking jokes during most of their time on set. “There are tons of leftover alternate takes when we shoot; that’s our method,” McKay said to the Times.

McKay said that the idea to release the raunchier version in theaters came from executives at Paramount. “It’s crazy,” McKay said. “Normally, you’d think I’d be the one asking for a new release.”

The first Anchorman movie was more warmly received by audiences than critics, scoring a 66 percent fresh rating among critics and a 87 percent audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Anchorman 2 flip-flopped that, scoring a 74 percent Fresh rating among critics and a 61 percent Fresh rating from viewers. But those mediocre ratings haven’t stopped the movie from raking in the dough. According to Box Office Mojo, as of February 2o, it has grossed $125 domestically.

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