Nick Stoller‘s raunchy comedy Neighbors was one of the funniest movies of 2014, resonating with critics and audiences alike, received with widely positive reviews and garnering $268.1 million worldwide (a damn goodly sum for an R-rated comedy). Naturally, it was no surprise when Universal announced they were moving forward with a sequel, but it was a bit more difficult to conceive of where that follow-up might head. After all, at the end of Neighbors, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne‘s reluctant adults had wised up beyond their sophomoric tendencies and made peace with their warring fraternity neighbors led by a career-best Zac Efron.
Now, with the announcement of a title and the first new cast member we’re getting an idea of what direction the sequel is headed, and it’s a natural next step. Production Weekly announced the sequel is titled Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and Chloe Grace Moretz confirmed her casting via twitter saying, “it’s the girls’ time to take over”. So yeah, sororities, of course! Seems pretty likely that we’ll see the once-rival neighbors teaming up to take down the new disturbance in the neighborhood, threatening to tear down their hard won peace.
Universal previously announced that Stoller is coming back to direct the follow-up, with Rogen, Efron, and Byrne also poised to reprise their roles. Stoller will also produce Neighbors 2 alongside Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Neighbors writers Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. Stoller, Rogen, Goldberg, Cohen, and O’Brien are also credited as the screenwriters of the sequel.
The first film thrived because it allowed for genuine characters and excellent performances in the midst of all the debauchery, shenanigans, and dildo wars. Byrne was absolutely on fire, stealing the show with her ferocious performance as the new mom who just didn’t want to grow up. Efron, too, had a chance to bring an unexpected depth to what could have easily been the entitled frat boy stereotype. If the sequel can bring that same earnestness without retreading the same ground, the team could have another winner on it’s hands. Moretz casting is definitely a good sign – she’s a stellar young actress with an eye for good projects. Now they just need to bring back Dave Franco, because all movies need more Dave Franco.
Update: Neighbors 2 will arrive in theaters on its shiny new release date: Friday, May 20th, 2016.