Officially billed as "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version," the new edit adds approximately 20 minutes to the original PG-13 film's two-hour running time and promises -- no doubt ironically -- 763 new jokes, which works out to an average of one every 11 seconds or so.
"Anchorman 2" has already proven a box-office success for Paramount Pictures, grossing about $125 million in domestic ticket sales since opening in December. Both versions of the film will go on sale for home video April 1.
According to its makers, the idea for the new version came from the improvisational style of the "Anchorman" films, which tell the story of thick-skulled blowhard newsman Ron Burgundy, played by Ferrell, and his equally clueless cohorts, played by Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell. There's a lot of riffing and ad-libbing on set, which yielded the new version. "Anchorman 2" director Adam McKay, who also cowrote the movie with Ferrell, told the New York Times that the filmmakers originally planned to do a conventional extended version for home video until it became something bigger.
"We started talking and realized, we can replace every single joke in the movie with another joke," McKay said. Paramount executives pushed for the theatrical release, he added.
The extent of the overhaul for the new version of "Anchorman 2" recalls another of Paramount's comedy franchises, the "Jackass" movies, which expanded upon "Jackass 2" with "Jackass 2.5" and "Jackass 3" with "Jackass 3.5." Those new versions, however, were only released on home video, making the super-sized "Anchor Man 2" a rare bird.
A trailer for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version" is posted online.