Step Brothers is being billed as "From the guys who brought you Talladega Nights." And Pineapple Express is being billed as "From the guys who brought you Superbad." My question is: Do they think we'll like them more if they're just "guys" instead of "writer/director/media moguls"?
Let's take the Step Brothers team first. It's got the same billed director (Adam McKay) and writers (Adam McKay and Will Ferrell) as Talladega Nights. But doesn't everyone just assume that 90% of that movie was improvised? I mean, for Anchorman, they had so much "unused footage" that they were able to just edit together a whole second movie. At this point, the movie-going public has decided how they feel about the unending barrage of Will Ferrell movies, and I don't think anyone really cares who the director is. The only question anyone has is "Is this another Stranger than Fiction, or is it more of the same stuff? They might as well just advertise it with the tagline "John C. Reilly has decided it's more lucrative being in movies like this than being a real actor!". Meanwhile, Pineapple Express does have the same writers as Superbad, but the director's new.
Really, it turns out that "The guys who brought you" both of the previous movies were part of the Judd Apatow Squad. He produced Talladega Nights, you know. And Anchorman. And 40 Year Old Virgin and Walk Hard. He's not exactly an outsider, you know? He's got three or four movies every year, and all the hipsters still think of him as "the guy who made Freaks and Geeks, which was cancelled tragically early." We're not talking about Joss Whedon here. Judd Apatow is so hot that he's got two ad campaigns for two movies simultaneously that brag about two different movies he made. His track record is so good that he can pick and choose what to play up. He can make Seth Rogen a matinee idol!
All I'm saying is that once your movies have made you billions and billions of dollars, maybe you're no longer "the guys".