Is Step Brothers Based on a True Story?

Adam McKay gives his ubiquitous twist to the 2008 cult classic family comedy movie ‘Step Brothers.’ The rib-tickling hilarious story revolves around Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, two immature but grown-up men in their 40s, who are forced to live under the same roof when their respective single parents get hitched to each other. Veteran comedians John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell articulately extract the comic essence of the narrative, but you may wonder how much of the story is tethered to reality. If the question has popped up in your mind, let us put an end to your curiosity.

Is Step Brothers Based on A True Story?

No, ‘Step Brothers’ is not based on a true story. On the contrary, it is completely fictional, down to the core. Adam McKay, the acclaimed director of ‘Vice’ and ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,’ directed the movie from a script penned by McKay with Will Ferrell. The script, in turn, was developed from a story written by the trio of Ferrell, McKay, and John C. Reilly. With epic scenes and endearing performances on the veteran actors, the movie has become one of the genre’s classics.

But you would be astonished to know just how much was conjured for the sake of the movie – which is practically everything, down to the “Catalina Wine Mixer” event. The scene was not even filmed on Catalina Islands. It was entirely filmed pretty much inland. In some scenes, the viewers can even locate the island in the background. The director did not cut the scenes out of the movie because it would be a good joke, he thought. Following the success of ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,’ the director wanted to work more with John C. Reilly. Ferrell, McKay, and Reilly teamed up and started brainstorming ideas.

It all began from bunk beds, and the idea of infantilized bitter stepbrothers cropped up in McKay’s mind. He laid down the premise gradually, which involved two single parents with their grown-up kids living with them getting married. The marriage would bring the two mature crybabies under a single roof, which would make for a killer comedy. It was well past the fin-de-siecle, and the ‘Star Wars’ generation was in their thirties and forties. Moreover, with adults attending the ‘Comic Con’ event, dressed up as their favorite characters, the exclusive notions of adulthood and childhood were imbued with new meanings.

They were merely acting as 12-year-old obnoxious teens rather than taking inspiration from any specific event or character in their childhoods. However, John Reilly brought the idea of having a drum-set in his custody since he saw his brother playing drums and knew that one shouldn’t touch it after they are tuned. Children often do things they are specifically asked not to, and when Will Ferrell’s Brennan smashes the kit to his heart’s content, it makes for a funny feud between the stepbrothers.

Contextually, Reilly played the drums, and Ferrell sang for the movie. Moreover, another scene where kids intimidate the grown-up brothers was taken from the director’s childhood. When the director was young, he faced a similar situation where he and his friend made a 23-year-old person back off. Ultimately, the compelling nature of the movie arises from the seamless acting pulled off by the veteran duo of Ferrell and Reilly. They dabble in their roles due to their playful child-like personas, which gives a real makeover to the narrative.

Read More: Best Adam McKay Movies