On the surface, Three Mississippi is simply swapping out Mark Wahlberg for Adam Sandler. Oddly, the movie will mark the first time Sandler has teamed with Will Ferrell for a comedy, which should yield its own collection of classic moments. But to understand how this all went down, you have to delve into the inner workings of Hollywood's studio system. Battleship, Anchorman 2 and That's My Boy all figure into the casting swap.
According to Vulture, the first domino fell in late February when Universal started to doubt the success of Battleship. The studio decided they only wanted to distribute, not finance, director Peter Berg's next film, Lone Survivor, a story about a doomed SEAL mission in which Wahlberg would play the lone survivor. With Universal not funneling in the money for the production, the only way for the film to secure financing was through a big star like Wahlberg. Emmer/Furla Films agreed to fund the film but only if Wahlberg made it his next film.
The second domino was the sudden and somewhat unexpected announcement that Paramount had finally greenlit Anchorman 2. This put producer/director/writer Adam McKay in the awkward spot of having to replace himself on Three Mississippi, which he'd essentially thought up and intended to direct. In his place, Warner Bros. brought in Sean Anders, who had just directed That's My Boy, which stars Sandler and arrives in theaters June 15.
This led to the third problem involving Wahlberg and Ferrell's schedules. With Lone Survivor set to shoot in the coming months and Anchorman 2 shooting in January, Ferrell didn't want to wait around for almost a year when he had Warner Bros. ready to shoot this fall. Enter Sandler, who has a habit of working with the same directors over and over again.
Are you excited for to see Sandler and Ferrell in the same movie? Would Wahlberg have been a better choice for a football comedy?