Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Step Brothers 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

Ever since Brennan Huff and Dale Doback resolved their differences as blended family adversaries, pushed all the furniture aside to make room for activities, became best friends, and rocked the Catalina Wine Mixer, fans of the uproarious 2008 film "Step Brothers" have wanted to see more silly shenanigans. The box office hit and comedy staple re-teamed "Talladega Nights" stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as spoiled, selfish, immature grown men who still mooch off their single, aged parents and nearly destroy everyone's lives in the process.

While everything ended happily, "Step Brothers" generated so many ridiculous scenes and memorable lines that it's almost inconceivable that a sequel never entered production. Why didn't Ferrell, Reilly, and director Adam McKay ever revisit Brennan, Dale, and their messy family dynamic over the last decade and a half? Here's why "Step Brothers 2" didn't happen and why it just may never go before the cameras.

Why isn't Step Brothers 2 happening yet?

After the success of "Step Brothers," a follow-up film was actually in the works ... until Paramount Pictures asked writer-director Adam McKay and writer-actor Will Ferrell to make a different sequel. "We got the call on 'Anchorman 2,'" McKay told Collider. After filming that 2013 sequel, McKay and Ferrell decided they didn't want to do another "Step Brothers" anymore. "I don't wanna get into the sequel business too much," McKay explained. He wanted to try newer things, and subsequently, he built a lane for himself as a filmmaker of satirical comedies like "The Big Short," "Vice," and "Don't Look Up."

But "Step Brothers 2" is even less likely to happen now, following a professional and personal falling-out between McKay and Ferrell that revolved around their "Step Brothers" collaborator, John C. Reilly. In 2019, McKay and Ferrell announced that they'd ended their creative partnership and closed their company, Gary Sanchez Productions. Years later, the reasons behind the split emerged. In the role of executive producer, McKay helped bring "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" to HBO in 2022. The story of the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA dominance in the 1980s, "Winning Time" stars Reilly as team owner Jerry Buss. Ferrell lobbied hard for that role, and McKay gave it to Reilly without letting Ferrell know. "I should have called him, and I didn't," McKay told Vanity Fair, revealing that he and Ferrell don't speak to each other anymore.

What the cast has said about Step Brothers 2

‌Both principal cast members of the original "Step Brothers," John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell, have told reporters in no uncertain terms that a sequel to the cult classic comedy is a highly unlikely proposition. Why's that? Well, it's on account of how it wouldn't feel right and how attempts to revisit the characters have fizzled out.

"There's no 'Step Brothers 2.' It's not on the table," Reilly told ScreenCrush in 2018. "I would love to do it, we've talked about it, we have some great ideas for the sequel, but it's not everyone's first move to want to do a sequel." Reilly explained that he and Ferrell, as well as co-writer and director Adam McKay, would rather pursue new projects and leave "Step Brothers" in the past. "Unless we were really sure that we could do a better version or improve on what it is, let's leave it alone," Reilly said on "Conan."

As for Ferrell, he admits he's thought about a sequel but that logic prevailed. "You have to resist the temptation. It's just tough because the things everyone wants you to do sequels of are special because there's not a sequel of it," he told Rolling Stone in 2017. "As of now there are no plans."

What could be explored in Step Brothers 2?

In 2014, "Step Brothers" director and co-writer Adam McKay revealed that he and his collaborators had worked out a plot for a potential sequel. "We have a whole story, an outline that we're happy with," he told Collider. He moved on to more pressing film projects without revealing details, only for Ferrell to share that fleshed-out premise for "Step Brothers 2" with the New York Daily News in 2017. According to Ferrell, the sequel would have centered around Brennan and Dale's respective father and mother (played by Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen) happily married and moving into a retirement community. Brennan and Dale would also move into the elderly-only facility, adamant that they too were ready to retire.

In a 2021 interview with The New York Times Magazine, McKay discussed how Brennan and Dale would've responded to the political climate of the previous few years. A "Step Brothers 2" script could take shape from McKay's speculation that the main characters would have become heavily involved in the far-right QAnon community. "They'd be way into it, and they'd be torturing Jenkins and Steenburgen's characters with it, and they would eventually be having meetings at the house, and somehow QAnon would drift into Jenkins's work life, and the Q Shaman would show up at Jenkins's workplace," McKay explained.

Who would star in Step Brothers 2?

As "Step Brothers" is a duo comedy that mined most of its humor from the interplay between Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, it would be unthinkable or pointless to make a sequel without either one of those two actors reprising their roles as petulant man-children Brennan Huff and Dale Doback. Plus, in discussing possible plotlines for a potential sequel, both Ferrell and the original film's director and co-writer Adam McKay mentioned significant roles for each of Brennan and Dale's parents, meaning Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins would need to return as Nancy Huff and Robert Doback in "Step Brothers 2." 

Fortunately, Steenburgen told ScreenCrush she'd readily reprise her role. "I would be there day one, with the biggest smile on my face. I love those guys and the joy of working with them," the Oscar-winning actress said. The first "Step Brothers" also featured Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn in supporting roles, before they'd each find new levels of fame with "Parks and Recreation" and "WandaVision." Filmmakers would certainly want their star power in "Step Brothers 2," and Hahn is definitely on board. "I would do it in a heartbeat," she told "Entertainment Tonight."