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It looks like pledge season is underway in Hollywood, and by pledge, we mean casting. Neighbors 2 is beginning to fill the sorority house that will be the source of conflict in next summer’s sequel to last summer’s breakout comedy hit. And the new sister is dope. Kiersey Clemons is now on board for the movie.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story that Clemons, most recently of Sundance darling, Dope, which was released this past June, is on board and will be part of the sorority that moves in next door to stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. While most of the plot has been kept secret, we’ve seen the films subtitle listed as Sorority Rising and we know that Kick-Ass’s Hit Girl, Chloe Moretz, is already on board as the head of the house. In addition, Beanie Feldstein has also signed on for a role. Feldstein is a relative newcomer, but she happens to be Jonah Hill’s sister, and comedy does tend to do well in families. She most recently appeared in Fan Girl, which premiered at the L.A. Film Festival.
Zac Efron, the other star of the previous film, will also be reprising his role. When Rogen and Byre find that the new sorority is too much for them to handle, they call in Efron’s Teddy Sanders for assistance. The trio of Efron, Byrne, and Rogen combined for box office success with the original Neighbors last summer, putting up $150 million domestically against a budget that was less than $20 million. That’s the kind of profit that makes sequels happen. In addition to the returning stars in front of the camera, director Nicholas Stoller and screenwriters Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien are also involved in the sequel. While Neighbors 2 probably falls into the category of "sequels that don’t need to happen," everybody who made the original great is back, and we laughed at the first one, so we’ll let it slide.
While Dope was not the box office smash that Neighbors was, its production budget of $700,000, which is the kind of money Hollywood finds in the couch cushions, allowed the movie to be a financial success as well as a critical one. It also shows that Clemons can hold her own in a very adult, R-rated comedy. We already knew Hit Girl’s capacity for vulgarity, so Sorority Rising is definitely looking to follow its predecessor down that road. It's going to be a movie for kids is what we're saying.
We’re looking forward to meeting the entire sorority house when the film comes out next summer. Neighbors 2 is set for a May 20, 2016 release.