Jon Favreau’s Elf has become a staple of holiday viewing, and is now regarded as one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made. As well as bringing Will Ferrell to mainstream prominence and proving there were more strings to his bow than simply lending support in R-rated comedies, it also marked Favreau’s first mainstream box office hit, something he’s become more than accustomed to in the years since after going on to helm Iron Man, The Jungle Book and The Lion King.
Millions of people revisit the adventures of Buddy the elf on an annual basis, and fans have been holding out hope for a sequel for a long time now. Seventeen years have passed since the movie first hit theaters, though, and Favreau is currently one of the most in-demand filmmakers in the business and a firm favorite among the Disney hierarchy, while the leading man has never shown much interest in squeezing back into the green tights.
That being said, long-delayed sequels to popular hits are an increasingly regular occurrence, and as recently as 2016, Favreau admitted that a second Elf couldn’t be completely ruled out. However, James Caan has poured cold water on the idea now by revealing in a new interview that a sequel isn’t going to happen because the star and director didn’t get along.
“We were gonna do a sequel 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. 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.”
While you could technically make an Elf sequel without Jon Favreau, you definitely couldn’t do it without Will Ferrell. The 53 year-old is still playing the same sort of immature characters he was when the movie first hit theaters, but unless the studio offered him a whole lot of money, it seems unlikely that he could be convinced into returning.