Todd Phillips and Warner Bros had a dream. To take the home-run sequel to last year's biggest comedy hit, and use it to rehabilitate the career of drunken, racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, generally vile human being Mel Gibson, who managed to self-destruct in spectacular fashion earlier in the year after a series of phone calls to his ex-girlfriend were leaked to the press.
But, leaks not being Gibson's friend, word of the actor's participation in "The Hangover 2," in the cameo role of a Bangkok tattoo artist, got out, and, combined with what sounds like general unrest among Phillip's cast and crew about the decision, principally, it seems, from Zach Galifianakis, the casting was scotched yesterday, with the director releasing a statement in which he admitted that "this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my cast and crew."
But no time has been wasted in replacing the colossal prick, as The Hollywood Reporter have announced that Liam Neeson has joined the cast in the 'pivotal' role. Supposedly Bradley Cooper, Neeson's co-star in "The A-Team," is responsible for his involvement. Neeson's character is described as "crazy" and "intense," "someone you're afraid to talk to." Hey, why didn't they cast Mel Gibson, he's crazy and intense, and he could probably use the w... oh, yeah, right.
THR state that it's unclear if the part "will be altered to incorporate Neeson's sensibilities," which, as we learnt this morning, mostly involve thumping foreigners in distant parts in the world. Neeson rarely works in comedy, but he can certainly look intimidating, and at least he's not going to call Ken Jeong something unrepeatable and constantly demand blowjobs from the crew.
All we know is that an on-set atmosphere like this has to create a happy, comfortable, loving atmosphere for the creation of comedy. The film hits a mere seven months from now, on May 26th, 2011.