2014’s R-rated Neighbors was all about a battle between a couple and the fraternity next door. As such, much of the comedy was of the "frat-bro" variety. The uber-masculinity of the humor is part of the point. This may make it slightly surprising that in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Dave Franco’s character will actually be gay. It may come as a surprise to fans, but for the writer and director it made all the sense in the world.
In Neighbors, Dave Franco played Pete, who was just as much your stereotypical frat guy as anybody else. However, in the sequel, he will play a man in a homosexual relationship on the verge of getting married. Director Nicholas Stoller told Yahoo that the catalyst came from the end of the first film. When Teddy (Zac Efron) tells Pete to take off and that Teddy will take full responsibility for the building destroyed by fireworks, Pete’s response is, "I love you." For Stoller, this was the perfect launching point for a new character arc. As it turned out, one of the sequel's writers had the same idea entirely independently.
Clearly, we’re playing with the homoerotic tension [in the first film], and I was like, 'He should just be gay.’ Then in this one, it came up again. [Co-writer] Evan Goldberg brought it up, and he said, 'I think he should be gay, and part of [his arc] should be the proposal.’ It was kind of all of us coming to the same conclusion.
Nicholas Stoller also says that he was influenced to turn one of the characters in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising gay after he realized that he’d never had a gay character in any of his films. During the press junket for the original Neighbors, Stoller was asked by a reporter why he had never included a gay character in previous movies. The director admitted that he had no good answer why he hadn’t, and so began to look for a way to do so.
Dave Franco himself appears to be very excited for his character’s changes. His role is much smaller in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but Franco thinks what he lacks in screen time may be made up for by being impactful.
Even though I’m not on screen for a significant amount of time, hopefully it will be very memorable. And of course I was excited to try something new with the character while still maintaining his essence.
The original Neighbors was a massive success, and the sequel is looking to repeat that. In addition to Dave Franco and Zac Efron, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne will also be returning. This time the couple will be doing battle with a sorority, led by Chloe Moretz. Will you be checking it out?