Why Will Ferrell Turned Down $29 Million Offer to Star in Elf Sequel

Will Ferrell, who is no cotton-headed ninny-muggins, stands by his decision to turn down a mind-blowing $29 million offer to play Buddy in a sequel to Elf.

By Ryan Gajewski Oct 29, 2021 7:34 AMTags
Watch: "Elf" Brings Xmas Cheer 16 Years Later: E! News Rewind

Will Ferrell's recollection about the Elf sequel that never quite happened is unlikely to make fans joyfully sing loud for all to hear.

During a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter's comedy issue, the 54-year-old actor discussed his decision to say no to a sequel to director Jon Favreau's beloved 2003 holiday film that also starred James Caan and Zooey Deschanel.

According to THR, a script had been written for the follow-up installment, and Will was offered a whopping $29 million to reprise his role as Buddy the Christmas elf. However, the star ultimately decided he wouldn't feel proud to make the second film, as it seemed to him as though it was just rehashing the original magic.

"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,'" he said candidly. "And I thought, 'Can I actually say those words? I don't think I can, so I guess I can't do the movie.'" 

20 Secrets About Elf Revealed

During a 2017 visit to Watch What Happens Live, a fan asked Will whether he would ever make sequels to either Elf or 1998's A Night at the Roxbury. Will jokingly replied, "I've got great news for you," before quickly adding, "No." 


When Andy Cohen pointed out that this was good news, as the first ones "are so great," Will agreed, saying, "Just let them stand on their own, right?" 

The THR piece about Will, who can be seen next month opposite Paul Rudd in the Apple TV+ series The Shrink Next Door, also included Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels offering some rather high praise about where he would rank the alum among other SNL standouts. Check out Lorne's assessment by clicking here