The Interview - starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as a buddy duo recruited to assassinate the leader of North Korea - made a whole lot of headlines late last year, when Sony nearly canceled its release over a cyber-terror threat. However, Rogen's far bigger commercial success (and critical hit) of 2014 was the comedy Neighbors - and last we heard, the actor/writer/director had confirmed that discussions about a sequel to the latter were underway.
Universal has now confirmed that Neighbors 2 is happening and that it will shoot this summer. The first Neighbors, for those unaware, starred Rogen and Rose Byrne as a couple and new parents, whose attempt to settle into their adult lives becomes all the more complicated when they move in next door to a fraternity (with its leader played by Zac Efron) and end up going to war with its party-happy, college-age members.
Where the sequel will go from there - seeing as Neighbors concluded with the various characters all moving onto the next stage in their lives - is a good question that remains to be answered. Having said that, Rogen, Byrne, and Efron had excellent comedic chemistry during the first movie (read our review), and all three stars are confirmed to reunite in Neighbors 2 - so that's one thing this raunchy comedy sequel has working in its favor already.
Neighbors screenwriters Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien are back as scribes on Neighbors 2. The film is also being written by Neighbors director Nicholas Stoller (who will call the shots on the sequel too), as well as Rogen and his writing/directing collaborator Evan Goldberg (This is the End, The Interview) - most of whom will also be serving as producers on the film, according to the official press release issued by Universal. Meanwhile, the release date is now set for next year on May 13th.
The concern with most any comedy sequel is that it'll either unimaginatively rehash what was done before (see: The Hangover Part II) or stretch the original movie's concept further than it should've been (see: Horrible Bosses 2). There are the few that find clever ways to subvert the conventions of what is expected from a comedy sequel (see: 22 Jump Street) but again, we'll have to see if that happens with Neighbors 2... or it is turns out the first installment should've been left as a one-off.
As for its theatrical release date, Neighbors 2 will open on the same day as the latest Friday the 13th movie - and one week after Captain America: Civil War launches in theaters. Neighbors likewise arrived one week after a superhero tentpole (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), hitting the marketplace at a time when comedy options were in limited supply. So, as far as the box office is concerned, lightning may well strike twice in this case.
Neighbors 2 opens in theaters on May 13th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures