News of the week from gossip columnist Nikke Finke is that Mel Gibson was going to cameo in the now shooting The Hangover 2 (playing a tattoo artist apparently), but now that has been nixed. The director has released a statement through Warner Bros stating that “he did not have the full support of the cast and crew” while also claiming Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures were ok with the casting choice.
So…I’ve got my theories. The one I imagine conservative websites will spin is that Hollywood is hypocritical with its actions to not hire actors like Mel for making non-PC statements while they flee to work with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski who are immoral pigs and should be in jail.
That frankly is pure B.S. plain and simple. Lets look at this Mel Gibson example. Since the DUI / Anti-Jew tirade back in 2006, Gibson has directed a film (Apacolypto) and starred in one (Edge of Darkness) and both did ok domestic box-office wise, neither flops nor hits. Then came news this past year of divorce (read: he’s a religious hypocrite) and new girlfriend and new baby. Then came the tapes released to radar.com, which I’ve listened to and they’re pretty nasty.
Rape, on the other hand, is not nasty so much as deeply, deeply criminal and immoral. Mike Tyson was found guilty of that charge and served jail time. However, that didn’t stop the crew of The Hangover to protest his cameo in that film. Which, on face value, was mere gimmick casting. To top it off the film didn’t need it. The scenes with Tyson are the least funny in the film. Oddly enough there was no outcry from the public like we see when Roman Polanski’s name is on anything.
Which leads to my conclusion, and this is just my guess as I have no “inside dope” to back this up: The cast didn’t morally object to Gibson being in the film, they just didn’t want him to steal their thunder. As in when the film opens next year and the cast is asked literally thousands of times, “What was it like working with Mel Gibson?!?” That’s my bet. I have no scoop on these actors and this situation, but one thing I do know is a lot of “showbiz friendships”, i.e. actors who work together or stars and big-name directors, are about as authentic as monopoly money. So when you see the big star on the Today Show saying “Oh Blank Name was a great guy, really funny, brought a lot to the film…” he’s just selling the movie. Why does Actor A and Actor B then work together? A previous collaboration produced money, or the studio forced them. Same thing with directors. If the director wants blank-budget, then often times the producer or studio will say the film needs to star one of these names on a list, if you want someone else you get a much smaller budget. Of course, I’m not saying all of those types of “out in the public” friendships are fake. The bottom line is the bottom line: for some reason studios think more people will go see a movie if they think the stars in it are all great pals off-screen. Don’t ask me why, it’s their logic.
And this film (much like the Matrix sequel or Pirates of the Caribbean sequel or Iron Man 2 before it) doesn’t need any extra juice like a celeb cameo to help its box office potential. The four guys could sit in a room for two hours and discuss different methods of long division and the movie would still make $120M opening weekend. I think the cast and crew know that too. Or, maybe they thought the idea was stupid*.
*UPDATE – And now Liam Neeson will cameo instead. FREEDOM!!!!