Director Todd Phillips Promises More Justin Bartha, Less Las Vegas in ‘Hangover’ Sequel

For years, Todd Phillips –- arguably the best comedy director in the business right now whose name doesn’t rhyme with Bud Apatow -– was pestered by fanboys and film writers alike trying to get the deets on “Old School 2.” Now, the good news is that people seem to have finally stopped asking about a sequel to the Will Ferrell/Vince Vaughn/Luke Wilson hard-partying hit; the bad news, however, is that it’s because they’re all asking for the latest on the sequel to this past summer’s Bradley Cooper/Ed Helms/Zach Galifianakis hard-partying hit.

“Right now we’re figuring all that stuff out,” the affable Phillips responded this week when asked about a second installment of “The Hangover,” which hits DVD and Blu-Ray this week. “Don’t put me on the spot.”

Believe it or not, the hit comedy about four dudes whose trip to Vegas for a bachelor party goes all wrong is now the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. And the studio, seeing that they had something special on their hands before audiences even had a chance to laugh, greenlit a sequel in a rare preemptive move.

“I can’t even explain why ‘The Hangover’ connected the way it did; it’s a funny movie, and I am certainly proud of it but it really connected in a big way, even internationally,” Phillips marveled. “So often, comedies have a uniquely cultural thing. But I guess hangovers are worldwide.”

As for the sequel, all Phillips would promise is more Justin Bartha. “Yes,” he said of the actor who played groom-to-be Doug and his increased visibility in the follow-up. “There will be.”

“The sequel is something we’ve been writing and working on for awhile,” the filmmaker explained. “We’re about halfway through [the script], and we hope to shoot at the end of the summer, beginning of the fall.”

“It doesn’t take place in Vegas, but it’s certainly the same characters,” Phillips revealed. “It’s certainly going to live up to the comedy stylings, and the energy and the unapologetic nature of the first one.”

Phillips also told us that ever since the film hit theaters, people have been approaching him with their own tales of drunken debauchery. So, is he re-purposing any of that material into the “Hangover 2” script?

“Yeah,” he laughed. “Um, I mean no.”

What storylines or characters would you like to see expanded in the “Hangover” sequel?