7 roles Ferrell missed

Will Ferrell is one of Hollywood’s most popular and recognizable movie stars. Throughout his post-SNL Career, Ferrell has played all manner of roles on the big screen, including a chauvinistic ’70s presenter, a boisterous NASCAR driver, a police accountant (and ex-pimp), one of Santa’s elves, and Sherlock Holmes. Every comedy filmmaker wants to work with Ferrell and on top of that, he writes (or co-writes) a lot of his own material.

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But like any actor, Ferrell hasn’t landed all the roles he’s tried for, and like any sought-after movie star, he’s turned down a number of high-profile gigs. From Max Smart to Ignatius J. Reilly, Ferrell has missed a handful of great roles over the years.

seven Max Smart In Get Smart

Max in a tuxedo next to agent 99 in Get Smart

Mel brooks Get smart was one of the most acclaimed television comedies of the 1960s, denouncing the tropes of the James Bond franchise at the height of its popularity through the hilarious adventures of goofy secret agent Max Smart.

According to Vulture, when a big-screen adaptation of the series began to be developed in the 1990s, Jim Carrey was committed to playing the role of Smart. He eventually gave up and Ferrell was chosen to replace him in 2005. However, as a booming movie star with many deals on the table, Ferrell quickly moved on and was replaced by his. Presenter co-starring Steve Carell.

6 Rod Kimble In Hot Rod

hot rod

According to New York magazine, The Lonely Island’s first feature film Hot rod was not originally designed as a flagship vehicle for Andy Samberg. South Park writer Pam Brady first wrote the screenplay for Ferrell while he was a cast member at Saturday Night Live. The project never materialized and the script fell into development hell.

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After The Lonely Island started working at SNL and made their breakthrough with the digital short ‘Lazy Sunday’, Lorne Michaels lobbied for Paramount to come back to life Hot rod like their film debut.


5 Evan Trautwig in the watch

Jonah Hill Vince Vaughn Ben Stiller Watch

According to Vulture, Ferrell lost the lead role in another Akiva Schaffer film from The Lonely Island. Originally, the comedy of alien invasion The watch was conceived as a PG-13 family film in the vein of ghost hunters.

At the time, Ferrell was committed to playing the role of Evan Trautwig and Wedding crashes‘David Dobkin had to realize. After being retooled into an R-rated film, Schaffer ended up directing and Ben Stiller ended up playing the lead role. Ferrell and Dobkin’s regular collaborator Vince Vaughn starred alongside Stiller with Jonah Hill and The computer crowdis Richard Ayoade.

4 Dennis Dupree in Rock Of Ages

Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand playing rock music at a Rock of Ages bar

According to hollywood reporter, when a film adaptation of the musical jukebox Rock of ages entered development, Alec Baldwin was not the first choice for the role of Dennis Dupree. Ferrell and Carell were offered the chance to play the ex-rock star who is hanging on to his glory days running a rock ‘n’ roll nightclub, but they both turned it down.

Despite the presence of such prominent actors as Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston and Paul Giamatti, the Rock of ages The film was ultimately met with negative reviews and disappointed at the box office.

3 Jeff Tanner in the August eruption

Adam McKay and Will Ferrel filming on the Anchorman set

Ferrell and director Adam McKay first brought their one-of-a-kind wacky SNL sensitivity to the big screen with their absurd jewel Presenter. But before writing a screenplay about journalists in the 1970s, Ferrell and McKay first worked on a movie about a car salesman.

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According to Vulture, Ferrell explained, “The first box script I ever wrote – called August eruption, which was kind of like Glengarry Glen Ross meet a car dealership – my character jeff tanner loved Top Gun. He liked to watch Top Gun and he watched it 10 times a day.

2 Ignatius J. Reilly in a Confederation of Dunces

Confederation of Dunces

According to Slate, a film adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s notoriously unsuitable comedy novel A confederation of dunces has been in development hell for years. Development first began with John Belushi, who died in 1982. It nearly performed in 2007, with David Gordon Green attached to direct a faithful screenplay co-written by Steven Soderbergh.

Ferrell was hired to play Ignatius J. Reilly in a large bodysuit, with Drew Barrymore, Mos Def, and Lily Tomlin all strapped in to play supporting roles. However, the project fell through, and the book still hasn’t been turned into a movie.

1 Walter Mitty in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller ended up directing and staring in a modern update of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but as A confederation of dunces, he first spent years in development hell. According to Vulture, the remake first entered development in 1994 with Jim Carrey in the title role. He was replaced by Owen Wilson in 2005, who was replaced by Mike Myers in 2007, Will Ferrell in 2009 and Sacha Baron Cohen in 2010.

In 2011, Stiller took over the project and he got it off the ground. Before Stiller signed on to head into the film, filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Gore Verbinski, and Ron Howard had all attempted the project.

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