The 2015 comedy Daddy's Home teamed Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in a story about a radio host trying to win the love of his stepchildren only to have their biological dad unexpectedly reappear. Ferrell played the straightlaced stepdad while Wahlberg took on the role of the motorcycle-riding cool biological dad. The movie was a good-sized hit, grossing $38 million over the Christmas weekend and finishing with a strong $150 million domestic total.
Enough folks enjoyed watching Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg butt heads that Paramount is bringing back the same duo for a sequel and recruiting some big-time talent to star alongside them. One of the actors in talks to join Daddy's Home 2 is a current Oscar nominee, and the other just took home a SAG award.
If Paramount gets their way, Daddy's Home 2 will feature a heavy-hitting cast. Deadline reports that Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson, a guy who of course is no stranger to being in front of the camera, and SAG Award winner John Lithgow (The Crown) have both been offered roles in the Daddy's Home sequel. The nature of their roles is something that will be revealed later, but Deadline says it "looks promising" that both men will be hopping on board.
Paramount has a long relationship with Mel Gibson, having handled North American distribution for his Oscar-winning action epic Braveheart. The controversial Gibson is back out of exile and on top of the Hollywood heap after his WWII epic Hacksaw Ridge snagged 6 Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. Gibson's recent acting work has been in over-the-top B-movie action flicks like Blood Father, Machete Kills and Get the Gringo, but he has a track-record in comedy too, with roles in Bird on a Wire, Maverick, and What Women Want on his long resume. John Lithgow, of course, boasts a brilliant history as a comedic actor, including a long-running role on the classic sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.
The big story here is Mel Gibson getting back in the game as an actor whose name may once again be attached to big studio productions. Gibson was so radioactive for awhile there that it seemed unlikely he would ever again get consistent work in mainstream movies, but the fact that Paramount is considering him for a family comedy starring big names like Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg is more proof that Gibson is officially off of time out.
The studio pursuing actors like Gibson and Lithgow indicates that Paramount is taking a Meet the Fockers approach with Daddy's Home. After the Ben Stiller/Robert De Niro teaming in Meet the Parents, the next step was to bring even more big-time talent into the mix for the sequel, hence the casting of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in Fockers. It remains to be seen how Gibson and Lithgow will help raise the stakes for Daddy's Home 2, but certainly both men are at-home with crazy characters and have plenty of comedic experience.
Next: Hacksaw Ridge Review
Screen Rant will have more details regarding Daddy's Home 2 as they are made available.