Ever since Elf came out in 2003, fans and critics have wondered about the possibility of expanding the world and building on the story of Buddy the Elf. Will Ferrell has talked about it, and even did an animated special at one point. In 2013, director Jon Favreau told Mental Floss that he might be interested in making a follow-up, but within a few months, he backed off those claims. In 2016, he said again that it was a possibility, but it was only about a month before star Will Ferrell said it was unlikely to happen. That has been where it lies since then, with James Caan saying in 2020 that he didn’t think it would ever happen, especially since he did not think Favreau and Farrell got along.
So, what’s the latest update? Favreau has been quizzed on the possibility, and he says he doesn’t think there’s a story worth telling there.
“I think there’s always room for new Christmas movies; that particular film, I don’t know what story would be told after that. It’s very complete,” the director told Variety.
So…don’t be surprised if Favreau tries to make another modern Christmas classic (assuming he ever gets out of the Star Wars and Disney universes), but it looks like all of the principal players have now abandoned any pretense that Elf 2 could happen.
Of course, Ferrell has already done another Christmas movie, appearing in this year’s Spirited with Ryan Reynolds. The two even made light of the connection to Elf in a promotional video for the Apple TV+ original.
“Do you have any idea what it’s like to be in a Will Ferrell Christmas movie that’s not Elf?” Reynolds joked in the video.
“Well, yes. I was there when we shot it,” Ferrell said.
“I don’t think they’re expecting Elf.” Reynolds reasoned, “Yes, they are! Instead, they’re getting a musical from two guys with questionable pitch.”
In 2020, when live Zoom readings of movies and TV shows were all the rage following the initial pandemic quarantine, members of the cast reunited to do a script reading of Elf to raise money for Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, which ended up raising more than $400,000.
A report in 2021 revealed that Farrell had originally turned down almost $30 million to star in and produce Elf 2: Buddy Saves Christmas.