Longtime Partners Will Ferrell, Adam McKay Bid Adieu

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Longtime business partners Will Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay have announced their decision to go their seperate ways and refocus their creative efforts. Although this may not seem like earth-shattering news to the casual observer, the fact is that the pair's separation marks the end of one of the longest running partnerships in town. 

McKay and Ferrell first met back in 1995 when they were hired on the same day for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. 13 years ago they formed the multi-platform comedy generating production company Gary Sanchez, later branching into a female-centric offshoot, Gloria Sanchez. The two standout comedians quickly became friends, where Ferrell quickly established himself as a top notch performer and McKay rose in the writing ranks until he earned the title of head writer in his final years there. 

From then on, the duo used the chemistry they formed on SNL to bring the world a multitude of collaborative projects, including ANCHORMAN, TALLADEGA NIGHTS, STEP BROTHERS and THE OTHER GUYS. McKay directed the films, Ferrell starred in them, and the world fell in love with their remarkable prowess and comedic chops. Close friends as well as partners in business, McKay and Ferrell also worked together to produce a string of films like DADDY'S HOME, the Sean Anders-directed hit that starred Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Hannibal Buress and Jon Cena, which spawned a sequel that added Mel Gibson and John Lithgow to the mix.

They also started the viral comedy site FUNNY OR DIE which launched with a string of viral short comedy films that started with THE LANDLORD. That short starred McKay’s adorable two-year old daughter Pearl, who played a foul-mouthed landlord trying to extract overdue rent from Ferrell, whom she turns into a crying mess. FUNNY OR DIE also spawned the Zach Galifianakis short interview show BETWEEN TWO FERNS, which grew to be such a huge phenomenon that President Barack Obama actually made an appearance on the program.

The duo confirmed their split to Deadline, adding that while they still remain friends, they simply wish to chase separate endeavors. McKay has branched off in a more political direction, heading films like THE BIG SHORT, the 2015 adaptation of Michael Lewis' book about the financial collapse of 2008. The film earned McKay an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with his writing partner Charles Randolph, and the film got four other Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. From there, McKay went on to write and direct the 2018 film VICE starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, shedding light on the behind the scenes story of how the Vice President manipulated himself into unprecedented power for a VP while working under President George Bush. 

The gang issued the following statement about their parting ways today: “The last 13 years could not have been more enjoyable and satisfying for the two of us at Sanchez Productions. We give massive thanks to our incredible staff and executives and all the writers, directors and actors we worked with through the years. The two of us will always work together creatively and always be friends. And we recognize we are lucky as hell to end this venture as such.”

There's multiple layers to the winding down of their longtime partnership, and the projects they already have in production will be seen through to completion. They will work together on their extensive slate of shared projects, and will continue to support each other both personally and professionally.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

190 Articles Published