THE HANGOVER Director Todd Phillips Sets Up Four Possible Directorial Projects at Warner Bros.

     February 6, 2012


Director Todd Phillips quickly became a household name following the smashing success of 2009’s The Hangover. Phillips wasn’t exactly an unknown before the comedy-megahit, as he had success directing raunchy comedies like Old School, Road Trip, and the PG-13 adaptation of Starsky and Hutch, but The Hangover (and its subsequent sequel) allowed the director to have considerable creative control in developing his own projects. The director is currently prepping a third (and likely final) installment of The Hangover, but he recently re-upped his deal with Warner Bros. paving the way for four possible directorial projects at the studio:

  • Mule – A young couple turn to drug trafficking in order to make it through the recession.
  • Arms and the Dudes – Two stoners make it big in the arms dealing business but then are cleaned out by the government.
  • The Island – Plot details unknown, but Due Date’s Adam Sztykiel wrote the script.
  • Million Dollar Strong – Feature film version of the YouTube and Funny or Die shorts from Ken Jeong and Mike O’Connell.

Hit the jump for more on Phillips and these four projects.

mule-book-coverWarner Bros. announced today that they have extended their deal with Phillips’ Green Hat Films production banner through the end of 2013, and included in the release were four projects that Phillips is currently developing as possible directing vehicles.


  • Based on the novel by Tony D’Souza, the film tells the story of a couple who decide to traffic drugs as a result of the economic downturn and the wife’s unexpected pregnancy. The husband quickly rises up the drug trafficking ladder to become a drug boss and the two find themselves way over their heads. Phillips is producing alongside Scott Budnick and the duo are currently out to writers.


  • Based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, the story centers on two stoners from Miami Beach who become big-time arms dealers after winning a $300 million contract to supply America’s allies in Afghanistan, only to have the Pentagon turn on them. Phillips is producing with Budnick, Mark Gordon, and Brian Zuriff, with Stephen Chin (I Rock Iraq) apparently in talks to write the script. You can read the fascinating Rolling Stone article here.


  • Plot details are firmly under wraps for this project, but Due Date scribe Adam Sztykiel has turned in a screenplay from a story by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas (Terra Nova). Given Fickett and Matalas’ background, I’m inclined to think that this project may involve some sci-fi element, which would certainly be interesting for the director. Phillips is producing with Budnick onboard as executive producer.


  • This film is based on the YouTube and FunnyOrDie shorts What’s It Gonna Be by Ken Jeong (The Hangover) and Mark O’Connell. O’Connell and Peter Kline (The Living Wake) are writing the screenplay, with Phillips producing and Budnick executive producing.

Of the four aforementioned films, I’m most interested to see Mule and Arms and the Dudes come to the screen. There’s no guarantee that Phillips will direct any of these projects, but this is currently what he has in development as a producer. If he takes a liking to one of the screenplays, he’ll go ahead and bring one (or more) of them to fruition himself.

The next Phillips comedy to hit theaters is the micro-budget found footage/party pic Project X. Phillips produced the film and filled the cast with relative unknowns. The film opens March 2nd. As we previously reported, the Hangover trio are apparently close to signing deals to return for The Hangover 3, which WB hopes will begin production this year. If that’s the case, expect The Hangover 3 to be Phillips’ next film.

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