Elf has become one of the biggest Christmas films of all time, with Will Ferrell’s character perfectly portraying how we all feel about the festive period.
However, the 2003 flick – which also stars Zooey Deschanel, James Caan and Peter Dinklage – very nearly didn’t get made.
Speaking in an instalment of the Netflix series, The Holiday Movies That Made Us, those who were in the know revealed major dramas with some unhappy lawyers during filming.
Director Jon Favreau wanted the whole movie to look like a Rankin/Bass production – taking inspiration from the 1964 classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Production designer Rusty Smith revealed that they may have ended up taking a little too much influence from the special.
Which is not ideal…
‘We got in trouble with clearance,’ he said in the show. ‘They got nervous that we had stolen too much from Rankin/Bass.
‘And all of a sudden we had lawyers in our midst. Lawyers with you on the set, lawyers with you in the art department.’
They started asking a few questions about where their ideas came from, with fears on set that the finished product may not be ‘releasable’.
Recalling the drama, producer Jon Berg explained that they were questioned about how influenced they had been.
He said: ‘We said to them, “Really influenced. Favreau came in and threw the book on the freaking table in his first meeting.”’
Not quite revealing how things eventually got solved, executive producer Cale Boyter added: ‘Some fast legal work had to be done.’
Elf is a favourite in most households during the holidays, but we won’t be getting another glimpse at Buddy in the future, as Will confirmed he is definitely not on board with a sequel.
In fact, he reportedly turned down a rumoured $29million (£21m) fee to get back into character, following the success of the 2003 film.
Speaking about a potential Elf 2 on Watch What Happens Live, he previously insisted: ‘Absolutely not.
‘I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights; Buddy the middle-aged elf.’
He makes a good point.
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