John C. Reilly has a handful of exciting, original projects on the way. He plays a hired gun opposite Joaquin Phoenix in his next film, The Sisters Brothers, an inventive take on the western from French filmmaker Jacques Audiard. This December he’ll be the Dr. Watson to Will Ferrell’s Sherlock in the upcoming detective spoof. He’s also portraying one half of Laurel and Hardy with Steve Coogan. And he’s got that A24 astronaut comedy series, Moonbase 8. But still, as exciting as all of that is, most of us want to know to one thing: Is Step Brothers 2 ever going to happen?

To find out, I asked him. Actually, I was pretty much the millionth person of the day to ask him. During an interview in New York City on Monday, I sat down with Reilly to chat about The Sisters Brothers, which premieres at the Toronto Film Festival next month. After chatting about the western, I slipped in one final, very crucial question. Are Dale and Brennan ever returning to the screen? Actually, I didn’t even get to ask the question; I merely said the words “Step Brothers 2” and Reilly immediately interjected:

This is everyone’s last question today. Literally every single person! There’s no Step Brothers 2. It’s not on the table. I would love to do it, we’ve talked about it, we have some great ideas for the sequel, but it’s not everyone’s first move to want to do a sequel. Most people like Will and Adam and I, we’re trying to do new stuff. We’re trying to find the next Step Brothers.

That said, I really appreciate all the love people have for that movie. And I think we pulled it off in a way that we were all really proud of. I would definitely consider it, but you know, Adam has gone off and started to do really interesting dramatic things. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen, but it’s literally the million dollar question today.

So no, despite rumors over the last several years that a sequel to the 2008 comedy was on the way, it isn’t. Reilly’s comments aren’t all that surprising, and Ferrell echoed as much when he told the Daily News last year that there weren’t current plans to get back together for a second film. But Ferrell did share one amazing idea he had for Step Brothers 2, should it ever get made one day: Brennan and Dale try to live in their parents’ retirement community. Hell yes, I want that movie. We all want that movie, so of course I was one of many people quizzing Reilly about it.

But I get it, and Reilly’s reluctance to leap into a sequel makes sense. He’s clearly focused on developing original material and tackling a variety of roles, from comedies to dramas, westerns to animated Disney flicks (apparently Wreck-It Ralph is his sequel exception). And hey, who could complain that guys as talented as Reilly, Ferrell and Adam McKay actually want to create original projects instead of churning out sequels like the rest of the industry. As the highest grossing movies this summer have shown, we certainly have no shortage of sequels.

So maybe it’s a good thing that right now we’re getting new and exciting things from the trio. There will always be time for Step Brothers 2. Maybe Reilly and Ferrell will be old enough to actually join a retirement community by the time it gets made. And you know what? I’ll still watch it.

Stay tuned for my full interview with Reilly about The Sisters Brothers next month. The film hits theaters on September 21.

Gallery – Best Comedy Movie Posters: