McKay tells Vanity Fair his decision to have John C. Reilly take on the role of the iconic Lakers owner was the final straw leading to the breakup of their decades-long partnership in Gary Sanchez Productions. (In September 2019, Deadline reported that Reilly took over the Jerry Buss role from Michael Shannon, who exited due to creative differences.) McKay and Ferrell had previously discussed breaking up Gary Sanchez Productions at least three times, often on Ferrell’s suggestion. Ferrell was cast as Buss because he's a huge Lakers fan. But Ferrell was never McKay’s first choice. “The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic,” says McKay. “And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, ‘We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.’ It was a bit of a hard discussion.” McKay thought that Reilly looked more like Buss. In the end he recast Reilly in the role anyway—without telling Ferrell first. Ferrell was infuriated. “I should have called him and I didn’t,” says McKay. “And Reilly did, of course, because Reilly, he’s a stand-up guy." In 2019, McKay and Ferrell agreed to break up their production company with the Lakers project going under McKay’s new production banner, Hyperobject Industries. McKay says he's written emails to Ferrell, but has never heard back. “I f*cked up on how I handled that,” McKay laments. “It’s the old thing of keep your side of the street clean. I should have just done everything by the book.” Ferrell declined to comment when contacted by Vanity Fair.