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If he wasn't already, Todd Phillips is now a very, very rich man. In a piece talking about his upcoming projects, Variety lays out the risky deal Phillips took when he went into making The Hangover-- and how it paid off for him big time.
Because he insisted in casting Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, none of them big names, Phillips was forced to take his salary from the eventual profits, making him an investment partner in the film. Variety estimates he'll take home more than 15% of the total revenue, which, for film that has already made $210 million, is a lot more than a relatively new comedy director is used to earning.
Phillips explains his reasons fairly modestly. "I’ll gamble on myself anytime. It wasn’t like I knew the film would do $200 million, but I thought if it did `Old School’ business, I’d break even and that would have been fine with me.”
As for what's next, Variety writes that the Hangover success means he's cut a much sweeter deal for Due Date, the road trip comedy that they say is confirmed with Galifianakis playing a slacker partner to an anxious expecting father trying to get home to see the birth. Phillips calls it a "buddy comedy without the buddies," which can pretty fairly explain the relationship Galifianakis' character had to his co-stars in The Hangover too. Due Date will start filming this fall for a summer release date, and The Hangover 2 is set for a Memorial Day 2011 release. By then presumably all three of the original actors will be gigantic stars, and Phillips will be arriving to the premiere in his personal helicopter, reveling in the fact that he was right all along. I'd love to resent him for it, but I laughed too hard at The Hangover for that.