Three Mississippi, the forthcoming Will Ferrell comedy about two Philadelphia families who play a football game every Thanksgiving, was originally supposed to star Mark Walhberg as the leader of the family that would rival Ferrell’s. Now, due to a number of unforeseen scheduling conflicts, Vulture is reporting that Wahlberg’s role may, in fact, go to Adam Sandler.
Three Mississippi was initially supposed to be directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman, The Other Guys), who was drawn to the project because he liked the idea of recreating the chemistry Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin showcased in The Departed (Baldwin was set to play Wahlberg’s father in Three Mississippi). He brought Ferrell along with him, but things got complicated when Anchorman 2 was unexpectedly green-lit to begin shooting in early 2013. A film that McKay, of course, would have to direct.
Wahlberg would also have to bail on the project for unexpected reasons. Before Battleship was released, Universal had agreed to finance Battleship director Peter Berg’s next project, Lone Survivor, in which Wahlberg was supposed to star. After Battleship was a critical and commercial flub, Universal pulled their funding for Lone Survivor, forcing Berg to seek financial backing elsewhere. Emmet/Furla Films agreed to step in, but only if Wahlberg would make it his next project. Three Mississippi would have to wait.
After McKay had to drop out to focus on Anchorman 2, Sean Anders was brought in as director. With Wahlberg now out as well, someone would need to step in to fill his role opposite Ferrell, and because of Anders’ experience working with Sandler in That’s My Boy, he is said to have emerged as the leading candidate.