Second sequel to smash comedy will be finale of the trilogy.
By Gil Kaufman
Nothing beats a classic movie trilogy. And while nobody is rushing to compare “The Hangover” to “Star Wars,” director/producer Todd Phillips is aiming to end the hugely successful morning after comedy franchise with a third and final chapter next summer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phillips confirmed on Thursday that “The Hangover Part III” will indeed wrap up the series when it’s released next summer.
“We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips said. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.” The movie is slated to hit theaters on May 24, 2013, hoping to capture some of the same box office magic that the second installment grabbed when it launched on that same weekend in 2011 on its way to a massive $581.5 worldwide gross.
Additional good news came with the confirmation that after extensive negotiations, stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zack Galafianakis are all on board for the third go-round. To date, the first two movies have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, a rarity for an R-rated comedy franchise. It was such an unexpected smash, in fact, that the Reporter noted that Warner Bros. studio didn’t even sign the stars to option deals for sequels because no one expected the original 2009 film to gross more than $467 million. That resulted in the “Wolfpack” trio getting “hefty” raises for the second film and a reported $15 million each for the third movie.
Phillips will again work on the script with “Part II” co-writer Craig Mazin, but he would not tip his hand as to where the third movie will take place. The magazine reported that a recent draft of the script indicated that it was set in Los Angeles and that it deviated from the “what happened to us last night?” formula of the first two films.
Star Cooper recently lent credence to the script speculation when he revealed in a December interview, “We adhered to the formula in the second one, for those of you who’ve seen it, and the third one, which would close the whole sort of trilogy, which now it would be a trilogy — even though we thought we would never make a second one, let alone anybody see the first one — I think it will take place in Los Angeles and maybe not adhere to the structure. It might be different.”