Will Ferrell reveals the wild original Anchorman script

Anchorman is an iconic movie full of some of the funniest insults of all time, but it turns out that the film was almost very, very different. Star and co-writer Will Ferrell revealed in a recent interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast (via JoBlo) that the film initially had a very different, much more intense plot.

According to Ferrell, the first version of the movie was very similar to the 1993 movie Alive. Set in 1976, the first draft saw a group of newsmen from all over the country flying to a big convention. Ron Burgundy, in typical Ron Burgundy fashion, convinces the pilot that he knows how to fly a charter jet, but when the pilot lets him take over, he pretty much immediately crash-lands it in the middle of a remote mountaintop. 

The story, Ferrell says, then saw the group trying to survive and get home, eventually hailing down a cargo plane which ends up crashing near them as well. The plane was, of course, carrying boxes full of orangutans, who then stalk the group through the mountains. Luckily, though, there were also Chinese throwing stars on board, which the group then uses to kill the creatures one by one.

Some of the same characters still showed up in the original script, despite all of the differences. Ferrell says that, throughout it all, Veronica Corningstone was still around as the voice of reason. "Veronica Corningstone keeps saying things like, 'Guys, I know if we just head down we'll hit civilization,'" Ferrell said. "And we keep telling her, 'Wrong.' She doesn't know what we're talking about." 

The plot was a bit out there, though, and it ended up getting quite a few rejections, even at one point amassing 10 no's in one day. It was even too wild for Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson, who had offered to help Ferrell and co-writer Adam McKay get a movie made after guest-writing for a week on Saturday Night Live. In the end, though, Ferrell and McKay ended up re-working the script, and the rest, as they say, is history.