When Zoolander 2 failed to hit, Ben Stiller has admitted that going through that was “not a great experience”.

Ben Stiller has several feature films to his name as director, but the last to date was 2016’s ill-fated Zoolander sequel. Released to great excitement at the time – heck, the film itself was announced at Paris fashion week to huge viral fanfare – the movie failed to capture what had made the original work.

When it was released, neither critics nor audiences were impressed, and Zoolander 2 pretty much came and went. Stiller felt the impact of that keenly, describing it as “not a great experience”.

He’s recently been directing the TV series Severance for Apple (which also, coincidentally, is the name of a fine British horror movie from a decade or so ago). And in a conversation with Esquire, he’s reflective now, arguing that “if Zoolander 2 had been a huge hit, and then people were saying, Zoolander 3! Do this movie! That movie! – that might have taken me off the road of having the space to work on developing Dannemora”.

Escape At Dannemora was the drama series Stiller directed in 2018, and he’s stayed in the world of television drama since. He admits that the failure of Zoolander 2 changed his perspective a little, and “it opened a path where I could just do what I’d honestly wanted to do for years and years, which was: just direct something!”

Which is what he did. As such, there are no plans for Zoolander 3, but you can find Severance on Apple TV now…

Esquire

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