HBO’s Succession ended its four-season run with a sweep at the 2023 Emmys, but did you know that Will Ferrell is partly responsible for bringing the show to life? Yes, that Will Ferrell was responsible for one of the most critically acclaimed television shows of the last few years.
How is this possible? Have you ever heard of Gary Sanchez? In 2006, Ferrell and filmmaker, Adam McKay, founded their very own production company – Gary Sanchez Productions. McKay explained on the WTF Podcast that the name Gary Sanchez was the fake name that Ferrell put on McKay’s phone which from there led them to create a fictional Paraguayan entrepreneur persona behind the name. Who better to represent your entrepreneurial interests that a successful Paraguayan businessman? So they jokingly named their production company after him.
Gary Sanchez Productions produced several of Will Ferrell’s movies including Step Brothers and The Other Guys but it wasn’t limited to just Ferrell vehicles, they also produced 2012’s Bachelorette season, even Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
So once 2018 rolled around and not only was McKay’s production company involved in the pilot of Succession, but he was also the director. Once the pilot was picked up, Gary Sanchez continued their involvement.
McKay has since moved on from raunchy comedies having directed The Big Short which earned him Oscar recognition and greatly informed the visual style of Succession. You can see that Succession’s tone matches The Big Short and even the camera work is similar.
You know the escort Connor Roy pays to be his long-term girlfriend? Her name is Willa Ferreyra, and while this has never been officially confirmed to be a reference to Will Ferrell, fans certainly think so.
Unfortunately, in 2019 it was announced that Ferrell and McKay were parting ways after McKay didn’t cast Ferrell in his HBO limited series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Ferrell is a big Lakers fan and wanted the role of Jerry Buss, but it was given to Michael Shannon. When Shannon pulled out, it was offered to Ferrell’s friend and co-star John C. Reilly. The way it was handled is something McKay admits to regretting.
Gary Sanchez Productions will cease to exist after their ongoing projects are finished and with Successionover it’s only a matter of time.