Director Todd Phillips And Writer Craig Mazin Talk Alan's Journey In The Hangover Part III

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-05-23 16:58:23discussion comments
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We heard from talking with the actors that you shut down the strip. How’d you get permission to do that?

Todd Phillips: You know, Hangover means a lot to this town. It does. It’s a testament. Listen, when Hangover I came out it was a recession. It was the summer of 2009. I literally got a call from a casino CEO, not Caesar’s, a different one, and [he] said, “Hey, I just want to thank you for making Hangover and bringing the young people back to Vegas this summer. It’s done a lot for the town.” So, when we came back for The Hangover III and we have Chow parachuting we’re dealing with six different properties. It’s like asking six movie studios to all work together. They’re competitors. You can’t get Dreamworks and Paramount and Universal to all kind of work together, but they did for The Hangover because of what it meant. So, it was cool. The Bellagio let us control the fountains, even though Caesar’s is really featured in the movie, and then we go here and there and there. So, it was kind of a neat thing, but I think it speaks to the love that Vegas has for the Hangover franchise. It’s fun to have made a movie that is a seminal Vegas film, you know what I mean?

Five years from now, if they came to you guys and said, “Come on...” or you had a great idea, would you ever bring it back together or is it really over forever?

Todd Phillips: I think it’s over forever with this cast, and us, and me and I think it is over forever. I think this was the last word on it and we’re happy with that.

It seems like you made everything happen, but...

Todd Phillips: No, we pretty much, you know, we have the resources and the ability. There was stuff we thought might be too much, but no...

What could possibly be too much?

Todd Phillips: Well, it’s not that it’s too much. It’s a tone thing. We try to, believe it or not, really maintain a certain tone in these movies and like you pointed out before, it’s a little darker than before, but it’s always tonally consistent. Sometimes you come up with a joke that we’ll crack up at for five minutes sitting in a room, and then we look at each other and it’s the tone of the movie.

Craig Mazin: You see these movies sometimes where you think the idea is, “Look how outrageous we can be. ...keep topping yourself with outrageous-ness.” Outrageous-ness in and of itself isn’t the point. I mean, characters who do outrageous things for a reason and then the reactions to those, if they’re real, that’s funny to us, but we never wanted to get in the game of, “Look how sick we can make things. Look how ridiculous we can be.”

Did you have a point where you wanted all of these characters to be at the end of all three films much less this last installment?

Craig Mazin: We felt like Stu was at peace. He’d been through the ringer twice. Bradley doesn’t need peace. He’s always been at peace. He’s got a wife and kids. Bradley’s the only cool one who understands how to live on the edge and then return on his own, like an adult. But Alan was the one that needed desperately to grow up. I mean, his father says it to him in the beginning of the movie and we realize it. That’s why, frankly, I love the fact that second movie is about it happening again. You can’t make a third and final movie about how we can finally stop this from happening anymore if it only happens once. That’s why I liked that it happened a second time. So, yeah, that was the goal, was to finish with Alan and once Alan is finished, obviously, the rest of them are in pretty good shape.
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