‘Hangover Part II’ Director Todd Phillips Reveals His ‘Godfather’ Inspiration

Check out an exclusive picture of the gang huddled around a fire in Thailand to kick off MTV News' Summer Movie Preview Week.

This week, MTV News kicks off our Summer Movie Preview week, five jam-packed days in which we’ll bring you exclusive interviews, photos and clips from the upcoming season’s most-anticipated flicks — everything from “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “X-Men: First Class” to “Bridesmaids” and “Bad Teacher” to “Conan,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Larry Crowne” and more.

We’re getting it all started with an exclusive photo from “Hangover Part II” — Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and the rest of the gang huddled around a fire in Thailand — and a chat with director Todd Phillips about a comedy he thinks can measure up to the finest second installments in movie history.

“I think there are very few sequels that have been made that live up to or exceed their first film. ‘The Godfather’ is the first one,” Phillips told us. “We had always planned on calling it ‘The Hangover 2,’ and when we finished the script, I changed the cover page and wrote ‘The Hangover Part II,’ because I think the film lives up to or exceeds the first one. It was very much a nod to ‘The Godfather.’ ”

If Robert De Niro portrayed the breakout character in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece of a sequel, Phillips points to his film’s monkey as the one everyone will be talking about when the movie hits theaters May 26.

“There’s a monkey in the film that I think is going to book a lot of parts after this film,” Phillips said of the creature who, under Galifianakis’ perverse guidance, simulates oral sex on a Buddhist monk in the trailer. As Zach says in the trailer , “When a monkey nibbles on a weenus, it’s funny in any language.”

Truth! And we don’t want the laughs to end. Which is why, even though the second flick hasn’t even hit theaters, we can’t help but wonder if there’s a third one in the works. “I could [do a third],” Phillips admitted. “And I’m only saying that because we love working together — me, Ed [Helms], Bradley, Zach, Justin [Bartha], Ken Jeong. We have such a good time on these movies. I know it sounds absurd, but I see other movies that have gone to three and you go, ‘I get why they do it.’ It’s actually fun. We just spend the whole day laughing and trying to make a movie.”

It’s Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated films of the coming months. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at “Captain America,” “The Hangover Part II,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and more.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hangover Part II.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.