News broke on Wednesday (April Fools' Day) that Anchorman 2 co-stars Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig had finished making a top-secret Lifetime movie, due to air this summer. Usually reliable sources, from Entertainment Weekly to The Hollywood Reporter to Today, assured readers that the movie, titled A Deadly Adoption, was not a joke but a tongue-in-cheek send-up of Lifetime movies pegged to the network's 25th anniversary.
But on Thursday, once everyone had emerged from their April Fools' bunkers and started kinda-sorta trusting the news again, things took a weird turn. Apparently still sticking to the story that the movie was real in the first place, Ferrell and Wiig issued a statement saying that they were canceling the (real, and allegedly already completed) film because the internet had to go and spoil their secret.
“We are deeply disappointed that our planned top secret project was made public,” Ferrell wrote. “Kristen and I have decided it is in the best interest for everyone to forego the project entirely, and we thank Lifetime and all the people who were ready to help us make this film.”
If this is an April Fools' joke, everyone involved is really working the long con. The plot of A Deadly Adoption—a “high-stakes dramatic thriller” about a couple (played by Ferrell and Wiig) who want to adopt a pregnant woman's baby, and then things get creepy—is almost exactly the plot of a previous Lifetime movie, The Last Trimester.
Was Lifetime really planning to run a spoof of one of its own schlocky thrillers starring big-name actors? Sure seems that way—in fact, a rep for Lifetime's parent company, A&E said they're still considering going forward despite the stars' disapproval.
The same AP story hints at some drama behind the drama, though: Ferrell's agent, Jason Heyman, recently left CAA for a different agency, UTA, and Ferrell made the jump with him. The AP isn't outright accusing anyone at CAA of letting the cat out of the bag about the Lifetime project, just pointing out the coincidental timing and letting you draw your own conclusions.