It’s been nearly a decade since Will Ferrell grew out his mustache to portray what is almost certainly his signature role: Ron Burgundy, the San Diego anchorman who’s kind of a big deal. And it’s been more than a year since he announced, in character on Conan, that a sequel was happening. So expectations are perhaps a little high—pushed higher by the absurd list of supposed cameos that has trickled out in the 12 months since: Tina Fey, Harrison Ford, Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Kanye West.
None of those expected guests appears in the first full trailer, but the full news team is back. And a decade has passed in their world, too. “Welcome to the ’80s, baby.”
All that really matters with a movie like Anchorman 2 is will it be funny—and, well, this might be? The set-up is promising: The era of 24-hour cable news has arrived, and Ron, Brick, Champ, and Brian have gone to New York City to make it big in this competitive new field. Ron wants to do “the thing that God put Ron Burgundy on this Earth to do: Have salon-quality hair and read the news.”
Anchorman was partly about a lovable male chauvinist learning to accept that “ladies can do stuff now.” Anchorman 2 will apparently involve Ron “breaking down the barriers of race by assimilation,” and more specifically by getting close to Meagan Good, who plays either a colleague or a love interest or both. And while most of Ferrell’s awkward white-guy jokes in this trailer don’t quite land, he does deliver “say whaaat?” like the pro that he is.
Sequels are usually disappointing, and it seems unlikely that this one could manage even half the quotable lines of the original. But at the very least, it doesn’t appear, so far, that a sequel was a bad choice.