Director Todd Phillips Talks THE HANGOVER 2 and DUE DATE

     December 10, 2009

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Everyone wants a piece of director Todd Phillips now that his film The Hangover grossed $277 million off a budget of $35 million and he’s already planning the sequel as he finished up on his next film Due Date starring Zach Galifianakis, Robert Downey Jr., and Jamie Foxx.  Today, Phillips did a junket for the release of The Hangover on DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday.  Naturally, journalists had questions about these highly-anticipated future projects.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what Phillips had to say about The Hangover 2: They’re in the middle of writing it right now and plan to shoot it next summer.  Aside from raises, the movie shouldn’t end up costing ridiculously more than the original.  It’s going to be not only a new location but new circumstances, which Phillips believes will both be surprising once they’re revealed.  They’re shooting for Memorial Day of 2011 for the film’s release date.

Phillips didn’t have quite as much to say about Due Date, but he did clarify that contrary to some online reports, Zach’s character in the film is not a college slacker but an aspiring actor and he happens to be in the car with Downey as Downey’s character races home to make it to his child’s birth.  They wrapped shooting on the film two days ago.  It’s an R-rated comedy and Phillips plans to get the runtime down to 100 minutes.  Due Date is currently slated to hit theaters on November 5, 2010.  Hit the jump to read the full transcript.

the_hangover_movie_image_bradley_cooper__ed_helms__zach_galifianakis__1_.jpgHas the unexpected and phenomenal box office success opened Warner Bros’ pockets for Hangover 2?

TODD PHILLIPS: What do you mean open their pockets? They’re going to make the sequel. They want us to make the sequel. We’re in the middle of writing it right now.

Will they commit more money and resources now?

PHILLIPS: We don’t really need more money outside of people getting raises and things. It’s not like this movie needs to cost $100 million to make another one. That’s not what was special about this one. It’s not that they’ve opened their – – I haven’t asked them to either. I think they’ve been really generous on this and the on new one. I’m excited just to do it and get these four guys back together.

If it’s not Doug lost again, how would a foursome change things from the threesome?

PHILLIPS: We have a really good plot and setup for it that I think people will love. People think, “Oh, is this a sequel? Is it going to be about the night that didn’t happen?” I don’t think it’s necessarily going to tie in as close to this evening as maybe some people want or think. I think when you have created four really fun characters that have really good chemistry, you can take those guys and put them somewhere else and go through a new set of situations and circumstances and hopefully it’s just as interesting, because I think what’s really ultimately appealing about the hangover is these four guys and their interaction. It’s not even Vegas, it’s not even the tiger. I mean, weird sh*t happens but it’s not so much the device as it is the characters. I think most comedies are like that. I think you could make another Wedding Crashers and not necessarily crash weddings, because those two guys were just great together.

todd_phillips_03.jpgWhen it’s ultimately revealed where the next one takes place, will we be surprised?

PHILLIPS: Yeah, I think people will be surprised by the setting and the circumstances and all those kinds of things.

You want to tell us today?

PHILLIPS: I’ve been instructed by Warner Brothers not to.

You’re doing Due Date so when is Hangover 2 expected to go?

PHILLIPS: We’re going to shoot Hangover 2 hopefully this summer. I’ve just finished this other movie with Robert Downey and Zach. We literally wrapped two days ago. That will come out next year.

As you’re in post on Due Date, do you know what rating and running time you’re going for?

PHILLIPS: It’s an R rating definitely. Running time, I always subscribe to movies should be 100 minutes, so that’s always around where it lands. I think the cut I have now is probably about 125, like two hours and five minutes. I’ll get it down to about 100.

What kind of character is Zach compared to Alan?

PHILLIPS: He’s totally different than he is in The Hangover. For some reason there’s a description on the internet that says he plays a college slacker. That’s not true. He’s not a college slacker in the movie. I see these kids writing, “Well, isn’t he a little old to be in college?” He’s not a college slacker. I don’t know where that came from. He plays a struggling actor, or an aspiring actor, he’s not struggling. He’s an aspiring actor in the film and he happens to be in the car with Robert Downey, Jr. although Robert Downey Jr. is not playing Robert Downey Jr.

If you shoot Hangover 2 in the summer, how long will the schedule be?

PHILLIPS: Well, we want to put it out May, Memorial Day of ’11 so we’ll see how that works out. Which would be a great release date.

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