Paul Rudd Reveals the Original Idea Behind ‘Anchorman’

One of the most beloved comedies of the ’00s has got to be Anchorman. The movie, which gave us jokes we’ve used for more than 15 years now, is basically a staple in popular culture. It also helped to launch the career of one Paul Rudd. Now, Rudd is explaining why the film could have been much different.

Paul Rudd is famous for films like ‘Anchorman’

Rudd became famous in the mid ’00s for films such as Knocked Up and I Love You Man. But first, there was Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, his first-ever collaboration with Judd Apatow and actors Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and many more.

In the film, Rudd portrays field reporter Brian Fantana. The movie was a breakout success, and helped launch his career. Rudd went on to play the character once more in the sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which was a flop.

He has since become a fixture in the MCU

Since the Apatow era, Rudd’s movie career has taken off in ways we couldn’t have imagined. In 2015, he entered the MCU with Ant-Man, in which he played the titular character, the superhero alias of Scott Lang.

Rudd has gone on to appear in the movie’s sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp as well as 2019’s record-breaking team-up Avengers: Endgame, in which he played a vital role. There’s no word yet as to whether he will appear in any more Marvel projects, but fans are hopeful.

Rudd explains the original ‘Anchorman’ plot

Paul Rudd at the premiere of ‘Anchorman’ in 2004 | Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic

Back in 2017, Will Ferrell went on The Bill Simmons podcast. There, he described the first version of the film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, in which the news team is stranded after a plane crash and has to fight off orangutans with Chinese throwing stars.

Despite the fact that that sounds like a joke, Rudd confirmed that it’s true on the YouTube show Hot Ones. “I heard about it. It was already nixed before it got greenlit at the studio…I think the idea was all these newsmen were flying over to some news convention or something and they’re all smoking so many cigarettes that the whole cabin filled up with smoke and the plane crashed. “

The experience Rudd calls ‘spectacularly weird’

Hot Ones host Sean Evans asked Rudd a lot of intriguing questions about many of his past projects, from his early commercial work through his new Netflix series Living With Yourself. But one of the best anecdotes came when they spoke about the oft-forgotten flick Gen-Y Cops, a Hong Kong production in which Rudd acts opposite an almost entirely Cantonese-speaking cast.

“I’m playing the head of the FBI. They want to bleach my hair blonde. And I have to go after a robot. Nothing about this screamed quality in any way,” he said. “But it was great. They were great. The city was great.” In case you’re intrigued, the English-dubbed version is available to stream free on Prime Video.