Good news and bad news for fans of last year’s Ted: the sequel to Family Guy mastermind Seth MacFarlane’s first full length movie now has an official release date locked up and on the books, but it’s a few months off of the initially hoped-for Spring 2015 premiere. Instead of an April opening, Ted 2 will be made commercially available come June 26th, 2015, putting it smack-dab in the midst of what’s already guaranteed to be one of the busiest, most overstuffed summers in recent memory (to say nothing of what the rest of the year has in store for us).

What can the story of a boy and his teddy bear – where the boy is Mark Wahlberg and the teddy bear is sentient, foul-mouthed, and fond of the drink – offer that lets it compete with the likes of Batman vs Superman, The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and Terminator 5 (which, incidentally, will open less than a week after Ted 2)? That remains more or less a mystery, but at the baseline, Ted 2 could just be a breath of fresh, comic air in a season that’s already overloaded with blockbusting tent pole pictures.

It’s only a brief announcement, but news revolving around Ted 2‘s tangibles – its plot details and the start of principal photography – ought to really get the engines on the film’s hype machine revved up. Considering Ted‘s surprise performance during its theatrical run (also in June), a repeat on critical and commercial success seems almost like a given for a second helping of raunchy male bonding between John (Wahlberg) and the titular stuffed animal (MacFarlane); your mileage may vary depending on how much you appreciate MacFarlane’s brand, but there’s no denying that the original was a winner.

So what’s it all about? Based on where the last film left off, we can make some pretty educated guesses about where Ted 2 will take things going forward – now that John’s entered a new stage of his life as a grown-up, there’s plenty of opportunity for his reliable, goofy, vulgar thunder buddy to cause him a few unintended headaches. (Or maybe we’ll revisit the kidnapping sub-plot involving Giovanni Ribisi.) Imagine the sort of trouble Ted could cause if John and and Lori get it in their heads to have kids.

‘Ted 2′ has a release date? I’ll drink to that.

Maybe the real litmus test for Ted 2 will actually be MacFarlane’s next film, a Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. That one comes out nearly a full year ahead of Ted 2, and shows MacFarlane in a totally different mode, something that reads closer to films like Blazing Saddles than The Odd Couple. While he’s not likely to ever alter his sense of humor, there’s always the chance that he might refine his craft as a storyteller and as a filmmaker; maybe he’s learned a lesson or two since shooting Ted, and if so that could translate to A Million Ways to Die in the West, which could in turn signal what we’re in for with Ted 2.

Purely speculative, of course, but with little else to go on, it’s food for thought. What do you think, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to seeing Ted get up to no good in between superheroic bouts at the multiplex in 2015?

Ted 2 arrives in US theaters June 26, 2015.

Source: Universal Pictures