Adam McKay and Ben Stiller really wanted to kill Derek Zoolander
It'd be nice for a movie to take a huge risk from time to time, with no consideration on how a decision might impact sequels or the future franchise potential. All of the concentration is put into making one really good movie, and, then after that, let the chips fall where they may.
ZOOLANDER is one such film, as we learned today via Slashfilm, that could have done something a little differently, if it would have opted out of following some of the more restrictive rules of comedy... and it may have turned out even funnier as a result.
Speaking to Adam McKay about THE BIG SHORT, it was revealed that McKay had done a uncredited rewrite on the Ben Stiller comedy, and, during the process, he had some bold ideas that he thought would bring some big laughs to the film. However, the biggest and most daring of them all had to do with the end of the movie and Derek Zoolander's ultimate fate.
Here’s one of my favorite [examples]. This is going back years, but I did a rewrite on Zoolander. I think I wrote the second look that he does, and I also think I ended up writing the ending. Anyway, I had convinced Ben Stiller Zoolander should be working on his second look, Magnum, all throughout the movie. I added Magnum. My whole pitch was: once he finally does this look, it’s identical to Blue Steel. That was the joke. In the end, I thought there should be a train coming at him, and there should be a big buildup of music, and he should unveil Magnum. Then, the train should just hit him, and he should die. The movie should end with people going, “Why do you think a look would stop a train?” And he’d say, “But…it’s such a great look.’ That would’ve been the ending of the movie [Laughs]. I convinced Stiller, and Stiller said, “God, that’s fucking funny.” [Producer] Scott Rudin had to go, “You’re not fucking killing the character! We’re going to hopefully make three of these!” I got in trouble for it. That was a good one. Don’t kill your character at the end of your comedy, but God, it’s fun to play around with that idea.
I will admit... I laughed a lot upon reading that, and imagine I would have completely lost it after the initial shock of "What just happened?" wore off if it would have made the final cut. It's so incredibly stupid, in the context of the character, that it's almost too brilliant. And the best part is that it doesn't mean ZOOLANDER 2 wouldn't have still happened. There are a number of ways a comedy could have come back from that line of ludicrousness. Oh, the possibilities...
ZOOLANDER 2 walks the runway into theaters on February 12, 2016. Adam McKay's latest, THE BIG SHORT, arrives in limited release on December 11.