Movies that are deemed to be a “Christmas classic” don’t travel down the chimney too often, but in 2003, Will Ferrell and acclaimed filmmaker Jon Favreau added some much-needed cheer to everyone’s holiday season with ELF. Beloved by many and played on a 24-hour loop by some networks during the Christmas season every year since its release, ELF stars Ferrell as Buddy, a human man raised as an elf at the North Pole who decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father. The film earned $220+ at the worldwide box office and sold like gangbusters once it arrived on DVD and Blu-ray. Naturally, this begs the question: Why didn’t we get a sequel? Well, it turns out that James Caan might have the scoop, and what he had to say is a bit surprising, to say the least.
Recently while appearing on the Bull & Fox radio show (via Yahoo!), Caan revealed that an alleged feud between Will Ferrell and ELF director Jon Favreau is what kept a sequel from spreading more holiday cheer.
“We were gonna do it and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I finally got a franchise movie, I could make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do.’ And the director and Will didn’t get along very well,” Caan said. “So, Will wanted to do it, he didn’t want the director, and he had it in his contract, it was one of those things.”
Oh my, that’s not a very jolly development at all, is it? I’m also not certain as to how the studio would move on the development of an ELF sequel without Favreau’s involvement. He’s certainly come a long way since the days of making films like MADE and ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE, and I doubt very much that he’d be willing to go back to the workshop for Elf at this point in his career.
What do you think about this situation? Should New Line approach Favreau about another director taking the helm? Would they recast Buddy as part of an effort to massage Favreau into directing? Is an ELF sequel even worth entertaining if Ferrell isn’t involved? Let us know what you think of all this stuff in the comments section below.