If it’s one thing Hollywood craves more than cocaine and prostitutes, it is sequels. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to bask in the glory of a successful and profitable film than to make it all over again. It’s the law of probability. It was successful once, it’ll be successful again. Any decent scientist will tell you that.
Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the science team over at New Line is pretty much green-lighting Horrible Bosses 2. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the screenwriters who penned the original, are on board; and it is expected that director Seth Gordon will return for the new project, as well as most of the cast, which included Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, and Kevin Spacey. If you haven’t seen Horrible Bosses yet, it must be because you can’t get Netflix under the rock where you live. While not “the funniest movie in years”, it was funny; and Kevin Spacey is always a good reason to see a film.
The big question is: was it good enough to support a sequel? Probably not. Look at The Hangover. That movie legitimately made pop come out of my nose. (Sidenote: POP is a super sweet term that came from Detroit and is used around here as opposed to SODA. Look it up.) When they announced that there was going a Hangover 2, everyone was shrieking like 13-year-old girls. But when we all sat in those seats the movie fell flat, and the only good thing about that evening was that I found $5 in my pocket which still didn’t pay me back for the crappy movie I had just watched.
Shifting gears for a moment, on the other end of the spectrum we have Bridesmaids, another surprise hit. This film didn’t have a lot of buzz surrounding it like Horrible Bosses did, but it delivered with a smart story and hilarious content. Universal is just itching for the cash cow sequel, but Kristen Wiig won’t bite. In fact, Wiig told The Hollywood Reporter that she and Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote Bridesmaids with Wiig, “aren’t planning a sequel [and are] writing something else.”
I’ve heard a bunch of garbage about discord between the actors and the studio because they only got $100,000 bonuses contributing to her lack of participation. Apparently in Hollywood terms that’s like tipping your waitress ten cents. I mean, whenever I do movies, I expect at least half a mil. Anything else is insulting.
I think Kristen Wiig is the type of person who appreciates film and comedy as art forms. She wants to create something good, work really hard at it, and move onto the next thing. That’s refreshing these days when everything has to be a franchise with merchandise for preteens to spend too much of their parents’ money on at Hot Topic. If this at all went into her decision, I support her organic approach to film. And maybe a salute is in order.
What blows my mind, though, is that Universal is willing to go on with this project without any of the original cast; though I don’t see Judd Apatow being dumb enough to make it without Kristen. I wasn’t aware that Bridesmaids franchise had that much material to support it without its original creator and main character. It’s like Saved by the Bell: The New Class, where only Mr. Belding and Screech are left, and everyone’s looking around wondering where Zack Morris is.
If I’m being honest here, I don’t think either sequel, if they end up being made, will be any good. Horrible Bosses was a good movie on its own, but I don’t know how they can take the story much further. Bridesmaids doesn’t stand a chance without Kristen Wiig. Sequels are tricky, and you have to have more than decent source material because the expectations are high. But they’ll keep making the movies as long as people keep going to see them. You know, the people who keep going to see Scary Movie and Final Destination.