Elf is considered a holiday staple and fans have long wondered why the popular film doesn’t have a sequel.  Star Will Ferrell revealed in a new interview that he stopped it from being made.

Ferrell tells The Hollywood Reporter his decision to table Elf 2 had nothing to do with money.  In fact, he says he was offered a handsome $29 million to reprise the lovable Buddy the Elf. The problem apparently was that the only good thing about the potential sequel was the paycheck.

“I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place,” Ferrell reflected, “which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money.'”

Noting of the script’s rehashed premise, he said he mulled over what his motivation would be for doing such a film and confessed, “I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.'”

Given its status as a beloved holiday classic, it’s ironic that Ferrell admits he once thought the Christmas film, which also stars Zooey DeschanelEd Asner and James Caan, would be the death of his acting career. There was a moment, he admits, when he was in New York City wearing Buddy’s fashionable yellow tights and thought to himself, “Boy, this could be the end.”

Then the movie charmed its test audience, and the actor gained hope — especially after one test group of what appeared to be “USC frat boys” also enjoyed the feel-good film.

Elf proved to be a hit and a boon for Ferrell’s career, amassing $222.3 million during its box office run.

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