While speaking with Den of Geek in 2010, McKay explained that one of his hopes for the film is that it would put more of a spotlight on the seriousness of white collar crimes in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. He explained, “White-collar crime has been marketed – billions of dollars have been put in to have us be bored by it. They don’t want us to be interested in that. They don’t want us to know the economic terms.”
Those ideas were also explored in McKay’s 2015 subprime mortgage crisis comedy The Big Short, for which McKay and his co-writer, Charles Randolph, won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. As McKay told Little White Lies, the reception to The Other Guys helped put him on the path that eventually led him to directing movies like The Big Short and Vice.
McKay said, “I was trying to make the entire movie an allegory for the financial crisis, then the movie came out and no one cared.” He went on to add that he viewed his “broad” comedies with Will Ferrell, such as Anchorman, as “trying to deal with an element of how America was falling apart.”
After The Other Guys didn’t generate the kind of attention to the financial crisis as he’d imagined, McKay decided to change gears: “My feeling was, ‘Alright, we’ve been doing broad comedies for a while calling it out, maybe I need to work on one that’s explicitly about it.’ The Other Guys was definitely a bridge.”
It’s clear that The Other Guys has a special place in McKay’s heart. But don’t take his word for it. You can check out the movie now on Netflix.