Since its release nearly 20 years, “Elf” has grown to become known as a holiday classic.
The 2003 comedy, directed by Jon Favreau, starred Will Ferrell in the titular role as one of Santa’s helpers who learns he’s actually human. Legendary actor James Caan played Ferrell’s biological father.
During an interview on 92.3 The Fan’s Bull & Fox, Caan took time out from discussing the Cleveland Browns and revealed why audiences haven’t seen an “Elf 2” materialize.
“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,’” the Oscar nominated actor said. “And the director [Favreau] 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.”
Prior to the alleged behind-the-scenes drama, Caan also shared why he almost didn’t take the role in the first place.
“I wasn’t going to do Elf,” the 80-year-old told Bull & Fox. “I said ‘listen Will, I love you. You’re a funny guy, but I’m not doing a picture called Elf.’”
But he soon found a way around the situation.
“I said ‘I’ll tell you what, if you put a K on the end of it, like, just through the working scripts, so I’ll do Elk. If all the working scripts say 'Elk' on it, then I’ll do it,’” he said laughingly, before adding, “It was great fun with Will. He’s a great guy.”
While neither Favreau nor Ferrell have confirmed the account, they have both previously discussed the prospects of a sequel.
Back in 2013, Ferrell didn’t mince words when asked if he would take on the role of Buddy the Elf again.
“Absolutely not," Ferrell said during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live,” according to 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."
A few years later, Favreau didn’t completely rule out the possibilty of another chapter in the Christmas tale.
“In the beginning there was talk of a sequel, and it never came to be, probably for the best as now it exists as its own thing,” he told Yahoo UK while promoting “The Jungle Book” in 2016. “But it comes up. I hear from the studio who pitch me different takes on it. There is part of me that wonders if there’s anything to be done to follow-up ‘Elf’, but I think a straight sequel is probably not the right move.”
For now, fans will just have to be content with streaming “Elf” at home.