Elf Actor Says Sequel Didn’t Happen Because Will Ferrell 'Didn’t Get Along' with Director Jon Favreau
"Will wanted to do it, and he didn't want the director," said James Caan, who played Walter Hobbs in Elf
Actor James Caan is shedding new light on why there hasn't been a sequel to Elf.
Caan, who played Will Ferrell's fictional father Walter Hobbs in the beloved 2003 Christmas movie, told radio show The Fan in Cleveland that a sequel was never made due to an alleged disagreement between Ferrell, 53, and director Jon Favreau.
"We were gonna do it," Caan explained of the sequel, "and I thought, 'Oh my God, I finally have a franchise movie. I can make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do. ' "
However, "the director and Will didn't get along very well," Caan said. "Will wanted to do it, and he didn't want the director, and [Favreau] had it in his contract. It was one of those things."
Elf followed Buddy (Ferrell), a human who, after learning he was adopted and raised by Santa's elves, heads to New York City to find his biological father (Caan).
Since directing the film, Favreau, 53, has gone on to executive produce a number of Marvel movies, as well as 2019's The Lion King. He is also the creator and producer on Disney+'s Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
Although fans of Elf have been clamoring for a sequel since the original film's release, Ferrell has made it clear that he is not interested in participating.
In December 2013, the actor said there would "absolutely not" be a sequel. "It would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back into the Elf tights," he said on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.
In 2016, Favreau said that doing an Elf sequel would be "a big gamble." He told Yahoo! Movies, "If I don’t do anything I’d be very happy with what it is. The minute you take it on, you try to add on to something, you always run the risk of diminishing from the original.”
“I do have tremendous fondness for that film and you don’t want to do anything to screw up the legacy of it," Favreau added. "It exists in very pure form as it comes back every year on television in both the British and American cultures”