Filmmaker Todd Phillips is finally getting over his Hangover.
As part of an announcement Thursday of the release date of the third installment of the wildly successful comedy franchise, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures included a statement from Phillips noting that Hangover Part III will be the last.
“We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips said. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.”
The third Hangover film will hit theaters May 24, 2013, the same Memorial Day weekend perch that helped Hangover II gross $581.5 million worldwide. After prolonged deal negotiations, stars Bradley Cooper, Zack Galafianakis and Ed Helms are set to return.
The Hangover movies have given Warner Bros. a rare R-rated comedy franchise. The first installment, released in 2009, was a surprise hit, catching most everyone off-guard and grossing $467.5 million worldwide. Indeed, the studio didn’t even have option deals for the stars and had to negotiate hefty premiums for the 2011 sequel as well as the next installment. THR reported in January that the three stars were asking for $15 million paydays for the third film and were likely to get it.
While it was likely that the companies could have kept the comedy series going indefinitely, expanding the idea of mirthful mayhem to cities around the globe, the simple cost of keeping the actors around would have been significant.
Phillips, who again is writing the screenplay with Craig Mazin (Hangover Part II), didn’t give any indication where the third story will take place, though THR reported that a recent draft of the script was set in Los Angeles and deviated from the forgotten-debauchery formula of the first two films.