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'Elf 2' won't happen because 'Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau didn't get on', says James Caan

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Elf is coming back to cinemas. (Park Circus/Warner Bros)
Elf is coming back to cinemas. (Park Circus/Warner Bros)

It's that time of year – well, perhaps a bit early, but nonetheless – when our thoughts turn to Elf.

One of the finest festive comedies of all, it left us wanting much more of Will Ferrell's Buddy, the Christmas obsessed elf who is actually a human.

But a sequel never came to be, despite at one time it having a potential title - Elf 2: Buddy Saves Christmas.

And now we know why.

Watch the trailer for Elf below....

Read more: The best Christmas films of the 21st century

James Caan, who played Buddy's biological father Walter Hobbs, has now spilled the beans on why it won't be going ahead, and it's because Ferrell and director Jon Favreau didn't get on.

Speaking in an interview with Cleveland's 92.3FM with Bull & Fox on Friday last week, he said: “We were gonna do it and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I finally got a franchise movie, I could make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do,’” he said.

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

Caan and Ferrell in Elf (Credit: New Line)
Caan and Ferrell in Elf (Credit: New Line)

Talk of a sequel has long been a bone of contention between Ferrell, who has always said no, and Favreau, who seems rather more amenable.

Ferrell said in 2013 that it categorically would not happen, telling USA Today: “I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights. Buddy the middle-aged elf.”

Actors Will Ferrell, left, James Caan, center, and Jon Favreau attend the premiere party for the Movie "Elf" in New York, Nov. 2, 2003. (AP Photo/Mike Appleton) )
Will Ferrell, James Caan and Jon Favreau attend the premiere party for Elf in New York, 2003 (Credit: AP Photo/Mike Appleton)

He later expanded, telling IGN: “If you can figure that out and come up with a story that justifies having an extension of the first one, then great. I’ve been asked and begged and prodded to do a sequel to that movie.

Read more: Favreau updates on Mandalorian season two

“I think it’s hard – it’s a classic fish out of water story and it’s its own thing.”

In another discussion with US talk show host Andy Cohen, he added he would 'absolutely not' make a sequel.

Favreau, however, told Yahoo Movies UK back in 2016 that there were 'all sorts of ways' it could happen, adding: “It might be the film I’m most proud off, if you pressed me.”

The movie is often listed among the greatest Christmas movies ever, and also spawned a Broadway musical, as well as a stop-motion animated special for NBC – though only Ed Asner returned from the original cast to play Santa.