Will Ferrell turned down $29 million to star in Elf sequel

7 November 2021, 13:00 | Updated: 8 November 2021, 13:41

Will Ferrell with the actor starring in 2003's Elf
Will Ferrell has revealed why he turned down millions to star in Elf 2. Picture: 1. Cindy Ord/Getty Images 2. Alan Markfield/New Line Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

By Rachel Finn

The comic actor, who starred in the iconic Christmas film, has revealed he turned down millions to reprise his role in Elf 2.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...
Radio X

By Radio X

Will Ferrell has confirmed how he turned down $29 million (around £21 million) to star in a sequel to the well-known Christmas film.

Released in 2003, the iconic Christmas film sees Will star as an elf called Buddy, making his way from Santa’s workshop to New York with the hope of tracking down his father. It’s one of the most successful Christmas films of all time and grossed $220 million at the box office, not to mention a guaranteed spot on TV each year once December comes around.

However, in a new interview Will says he couldn’t do the sequel as, despite its hefty paycheck, he couldn't get on-board with a project he didn't fully believe in.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Will explained: "I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money.’ And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.'"

READ MORE: The highest-grossing Christmas movies of all time

Elf starring Will Ferrell - original trailer

It’s not known at what point Will pulled out of the sequel but a script was written and some of the other cast members were on board.

Last year, James Caan, who played Buddy’s father, spoke to the radio show 92.3 The Fan and recalled the events leading up to the planned sequel: “We were gonna do it, and I thought “Oh my God, I finally have a franchise movie. I can make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do.”

He continued: “The director and Will didn’t get along very well. Will wanted to do it, and he didn’t want the director. He had it in his contract. It was one of those things.”

Although a sequel to the film never got made, it has come to life in other forms. Die-hard Elf fans out there can also watch the film in stop-motion animation in 2014’s Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas and it was also released in video game format in 2004.


Radio X Best Of British - see the Top 100

The original line-up of Oasis in November 1993: aul Arthurs aka Bonehead, Tony McCarroll, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul McGuigan.

Live Forever by Oasis named Radio X Best Of British 2024

Nothing But Thieves: Soundcheck To Stage