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Here's why Will Ferrell turned down $29 million for Elf 2

Will Ferrell in Elf
(Image credit: New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.)

Will Ferrell has revealed why he turned down Elf 2 – which would have been a $29 million payday.

"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 told The Hollywood Reporter. "And I thought, 'Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can't do the movie.'"

According to THR, the sequel's premise was a rehashing of the original. Elf has become a modern Christmas classic since its release back in 2003, so it's probably for the best that a follow-up didn't get the chance to put a dent in that legacy.

Along with Ferrell, the film stars Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen (who Ferrell teamed with again for Step Brothers), James Caan, Peter Dinklage, and the late Ed Asner. The film was directed by Jon Favreau, who went on to helm Iron Man and Disney's The Lion King remake, and created Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian.

Back in 2016, Favreau told Yahoo Movies UK of a second Elf movie: "In the beginning there was talk of sequel, and it never came to be, probably for the best as now it exists as its own thing. 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."

It seems we won't be seeing the return of Buddy the Elf anytime soon, then. If you're feeling festive this Halloween, check out our roundup of the best Christmas movies ever – or for something more seasonal, try the best horror movies of all time.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.