Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues proved that cult comedies can still garner sequels years later, and after that long-awaited followup was met with box office success, many assumed that a green light for Zoolander 2, another much-demanded but never realized sequel, was finally at hand. Now, we’re hearing that the project is finally going to get off the ground.
Speaking with Vulture about his HBO show The Leftovers, Justin Theroux, who co-wrote a Zoolander 2 script with star Ben Stiller, provided an update:
“Yeah, we’ve got a script for the sequel, and we’ve just been in talks again. We’re trying to sharpen it and hone it and, actually, I don’t want to jinx anything, but it looks like it actually might be starting to get up and running… It’s actually been a little hard with the show, but now I’m back full-time to dedicate time toward doing it. I met with Ben [Stiller] a couple times when I was in New York doing The Leftovers, and then I’m meeting again with him probably in September.”
Theroux, so perpetually miserable on The Leftovers, might seem like an odd participant for Zoolander 2, but the actor actually has a strong background in comedy. Before tackling Zoolander 2, he penned the scripts for Tropic Thunder and Rock of Ages. The actor also had a small role in the first Zoolander as Evil DJ, and he played the villain in medieval stoner comedy Your Highness.
The initial plan was for Theroux to also direct Zoolander 2, though that doesn’t currently appear to be his intention:
“I don’t think I’m going to [direct] it anymore. It really depends on whether the show gets picked up. If it gets picked up, then I don’t think I’ll have the time to do it. So it’ll probably get handed to Ben, which would be awesome.”
It’s true that HBO has yet to pick up The Leftovers for a second season, though viewership gains over the course of its freshman run suggest that it’s only a matter of time before the network commits to more. The show’s mixed reception likely caused HBO leadership to hesitate, but reviews have also been increasingly positive with subsequent episodes. So, with Theroux out of the running, maybe Stiller is the right man for the job.
We’ll keep you posted as more on Zoolander 2 emerges.