By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 27, 2011 at 8:27AM
Todd Phillips Rips Movie Critic David Poland A New Asshole, Cast And Crew Talk Getting Sick On Set & Possible Spin-Off Films
Ahh, "The Hangover Part II." Todd Phillips' sequel is already upon us and has already grossed $31 million in its first day of release (it's evidently on track for a $100-$125 million Memorial Day opening weekend; the masses like a familiar opiate).
Comedy sequels are a pretty tricky thing to pull off. Quick, name your favorite comedy sequel of all time? Hell, name one you even like. "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" has its moments, "Christmas Vacation" is not bad all things considered, but even things like we originally loved like "Back to the Future," "Fletch," "Caddyshack," "Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure," and "Ghostbusters" spawned pretty mediocre sequels. Trying to make a legitimately great list of comedy sequels is hard (here's two different lists with varying degrees of success).
But regardless, with a massive $100+ opening haul seemingly in the cards, a third film seems like an inevitability. And in fact, according to a very recent L.A. Times article and interview with Phillips, "there already are plans for a third film but no script or start date."
Before that interview, Phillips spoke about the possibility of a "Hangover Part III" at the press conference for 'Part II' (and yes, he was joking about "envisioning a trilogy" from the beginning, but he was sincere in everything else he said). "If If we were to do a third one, if the audience, if the desire was there, I think we have a very clear idea where that would head," he said. "It’s certainly not in the same template that you’ve seen these movies. The third would be very much a finale and an ending. The most I could say about it, what’s in my head, and I haven’t discussed it with these actors, is that it is not following that template but very much a new idea. As far as where it takes place, I said I’m very open, like the Olympic committee, to being pitched and presented cities, flown around with wine and women and bribed. Then I will make my decision."
So yeah, get ready for it. And in the meantime, things we learned about the making of "The Hangover Part II" from the aforementioned press conference and various outlets around the web.
Food poisoning was a bitch for the cast when shooting in Bangkok. Particularly for Ed Helms.
"I had a very serious hurdle to get past the first week which was severe food poisoning," Helms said in the press conference. "That lasted throughout the whole movie, pretty much," Bradley Cooper laughed. "It never fully went away," Helms lamented. "Maybe I should just leave the rest up to your imagination. Let's just say my body exploded."
''Everyone in the cast and crew had one or two days when they were either in the hospital or just out sick from food stuff. Everybody was dropping like flies,'' Todd Phillips told EW. Again, Helms got the brunt of it. “It does something to your mind when you get that sick,” Helms told EW. “You go to a scared, dark place.”
The lost kid in the movie (Teddy) is director Ang Lee's son. Phillips used this as a reason to fuck with him.
"I love Ang Lee obviously and I remember I asked Mason, 'Do you think you could get your dad to shoot second unit?,'" Phillips laughed. "Mason I think was nervous and he didn’t know I was joking and he’s like, 'Uh, I will, uh, I’ll call him. I can see but he’s doing a movie in Taiwan.' I was like okay, you know. But he was a great find and a great kid. You’re right, I don’t know how many people know that, but the guy who played Teddy, it’s the director Ang Lee’s son."
While there's some ahem, rather trangressive comedy in the picture, in the script they avoided some, ahem, issues that Thailand faces.
"There are certain touchy hot button issues in Thailand that we just happened to not touch in the script that we naturally avoided," Helms said dancing around the issue of the under-age sex trade at the press conf. "Everything there they read and saw. I think again, the same way Vegas really embraced us filming 'The Hangover' there and benefited from it afterwards I think, Bangkok was really happy to have 'The Hangover II' there.
Zach Galifianakis wants to do a serious Daniel-Day Lewis-type role one day. But with a twist at the end of it.
"Yes I goddamn would. But I think I’d just get laughed at," the comedian told the Shortlist. "I got up to give a speech at my sister’s wedding and at my brother’s wedding. These were two separate weddings. At both weddings I started crying and at both weddings people started laughing at me. Laughing at me crying. But to answer your question, yes, I would really love to do that. I would love to do my serious courtroom speech and then just fart. That’s my fantasy."
Random: Galifianakis doesn't want to have sex with January Jones and in fact, think she's a bitch (and or he's totally kidding, who knows).
"If I remember correctly, she and I were very rude to each other," Galifianakis said. "It was crazy. I was at a party — I’d never met her — and she was like, 'Come sit down.' So I sit at her table and talk for 10 minutes, and she goes, 'I think it’s time for you to leave now.' So I say, 'January, you are an actress in a show and everybody’s going to forget about you in a few years, so f*cking be nice,' and I got up and left. And she thinks that’s funny?"
Zach wasn't very keen on making a 'Hangover Part II' initially.
''I was a little bit apprehensive [about a sequel]," he told EW recently. "I was of the mindset 'Oh, let's leave well enough alone. In the end, it seems like I was wrong. But I was scared. Not because I didn't want to work with everybody. But I thought how can you possibly do as good as [the original].''
Zach doesn't want to do a sex scene with January Jones or anyone for that matter.
"I wouldn’t want to. I’d hate it. I’ve only had to do a few of those things where you have to kiss and stuff. It’s so embarrassing," he said.
In case you didn't know: Todd Phillips and Sacha Baron Cohen didn't see eye to eye on "Borat" and Phillips -- who is well-known to be a tough on set -- was replaced.
The "Old School" director parted ways with Sacha Baron Cohen in the middle of production on "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in part because "Cohen feared for his safety after the director asked him to do multiple takes of a particularly dangerous stunt," according to the LATimes. Phillips was replaced by Larry Charles.
Bradley Cooper fucked himself up while making the film. He also calls it the most difficult film he's ever made.
"You know what? It was the hardest shoot I’ve ever done, by far," he said. "I mean, 'The A-Team' we shot for six months, I tore my hamstring, I ate nothing but pears and tuna — and yet this one was by far the hardest shoot ever, and I don’t know why. I can’t put my finger on it. There weren’t blow-ups, but there was a definite sense, a tone and energy of just… It was like walking through mud in a lot of ways.
The Bangkok setting of "The Hangover Part II" was not borrowed from the plot of "Old School 2," fyi.
"No, that was never rumor, was it? That certainly was never something we were exploring," Phillips told Coming Soon. "Bangkok was, for me, a place that I hadn't been. I obviously went a million times in researching this, but I hadn't been before. But it is a place that always intrigued me, yeah."
Bill Clinton's visit to the set proved one thing: he likes shitty movies.
“The first thing he said when he sat down was, ‘Is there going to be an 'A-Team 2 '– and can I be in it?’ ” Cooper said laughing. “I was like, ‘This is a joke, right?’”
There's a few N-bombs dropped in the film, but the cast thinks there's legitimate character reasons for this.
"I think Alan, for someone to say that word so cluelessly, it’s funny because it comes out of a place of ignorance," Galifianakis said during the press conference. "Alan just doesn’t know any better, he’s just an idiot so he gets away with that kind of thing. It’s kind of commenting that anybody that would say that so loosely is an idiot. That word can be very inflammatory but Alan is such a dimwit that it’s not excusable at all but you’re making fun of people that would say that word, I think. That’s the way I see it."
Phillips added, "But [Ken Jeong's character is] also a pseudo gangster who obviously uses that word, Chow does, in that way. Then Alan of course in his left footedness misinterprets that. I think that’s the best way to describe it."
Zack hates press and the spotlight.
"I try to ignore it. I just try to keep myself a traditionalist," he told Coming Soon. "I liked being an underground comic doing my thing. I want to maintain that. I just do. Privacy is big for me. To do interviews even, I have a very love/hate with it. Talking about it almost kind of ruins it in a way. No offense, of course. But you have to promote the movie so it's one of the Catch-22s of it. You're in a successful thing, but you try to be as grounded as you can as a comic. That's what I'm trying to do, maintain normalcy. "
If the "The Hangover Part II" fails, it's not because the cast was lazy about it.
"One criticism you could never make about this movie is that we just phoned it in,'' Cooper said. ''Even if it fails miserably, it's not for lack of trying. It was the hardest shoot I've ever done for sure. Nothing ever even came close to it,'' he said of the two-month shoot in Bangkok.
Could there be 'Hangover' spin-off films? Todd Phillips thinks it's a possibility.
"Oh yeah, I mean, listen, I love this world that we’ve created," he said at the press conference. "I love every actor in these movies, even all the ones that aren’t here today as well. Who knows, we do a Mr. Chow movie, I haven’t talked to Ken about it but Chow is definitely a man of mystery much like 'Austin Powers.' He obviously has a web that is woven deep in crime and women."
Perhaps the funniest moment in all "The Hangover Part II" press in the last two weeks was watching Todd Phillips rip know-it-all box-office movie guru David Poland a new asshole.
"I remember you telling me before the interview even started, 'Warner Bros. has this idea that the movie is going to do $100 million dollars and no offense, but I see it topping out at $60 or $70, it's a good movie, but there is a limit on an R-Rated comedy like this with no stars,'" Phillips recalled. "And you went on to tell me, 'By the way, I saw 'Land of The Lost," it's a pretty good movie.' I remember and you started telling me how brilliant 'Land of The Lost' was -- which I didn't like -- and you were trying to antagonize me in trying to tell me it was a bad idea to open up against, 'Land Of The Lost.' Cut to we do $45 million on the weekend."
Phillips pressed on. "I will say having read your site here and there, you might be the worst box-office prognosticator on the planet earth, let alone that has a website. No, literally. You are wrong 99% of the time," he said, much to our bellowing laughter. "And you have this bizarre attitude that you know things about the business that you are really in such a distant way in the business... you're out of control wrong all the time."
Meanwhile, here's the visual version of our already-written review of "The Hangover Part II," below. The film is already in theaters if you haven't already heard. We expect it to break massive records.