'Zoolander 2': A 'walk-off' gives hope for a good sequel

'Zoolander' stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson recently took to the runway in Paris and a sequel to the comedy is moving forward. Will 'Zoolander 2' join the (thin) ranks of comedy sequels that fans like?

Jacques Brinon/AP
Ben Stiller (l.) and Owen Wilson (r.) wear creations for Valentino's ready-to-wear fall-winter 2015-2016 fashion collection presented during the Paris fashion week, in Paris.

It was a walk-off.

Actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson recently took to the runway at Paris Fashion Week during a Valentino fashion show. Stiller and Wilson played models Derek Zoolander and Hansel, respectively, in the 2001 comedy “Zoolander.” Stiller tweeted of his participation,

So it looks like it’s official – the sequel to the 2001 movie is moving forward.

It’s an unusual move for the two stars. While Stiller and Wilson have certainly appeared in sequels – both star in the “Night at the Museum” series, which released the third film in the series this past December. But “Museum” is a family-friendly film series. Stiller, Wilson, and the other actors who are part of what Monitor writer Laura Randall and other members of the media have called the “frat pack,” a group of comedians that also includes Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn, have largely avoided sequels to some of their biggest hits, which include “Old School,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “Dodgeball.” An exception was 2013’s “Anchorman 2” – the original movie starred Ferrell and many of the others made cameos in the film. 

There seems no doubt that “Zoolander 2,” which is slated for a February 2016 release, according to the Hollywood Reporter, will be a financial success. Will it please fans as well?

“Anchorman 2,” to take a “frat pack” example, received a middling reception when it was released. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave the movie a C, writing that “too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing… great gobs of this movie about the famously obtuse newscaster are scattershot and dim and obvious,” while the movie holds a score of 61 out of 100 on review aggregator website Metacritic

There are some movie comedy sequels like “A Shot in the Dark” and “Ghostbusters II” that have their fans, but even those that people like can be subject to the verdict “Not as good as the first one.” And when it comes to bad comedy sequels, unfortunately many, like “Caddyshack II” and “Weekend at Bernie’s II,” come to mind. 

However, back in 2011, Stiller told Empire he thought there was a lot of story potential for “Zoolander,” so fans can hold out hope for a creatively satisfying movie. Stiller said the sequel would take place 10 years after the first movie and said that in Derek and Hansel’s industry, “ten years is a thousand years. They’re both totally out of it and have to start from scratch… There’s a lot there, I’m excited about the idea of doing it.”

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