Seth Rogen & Zac Efron are Back in 'Neighbors 2' for Summer 2016
After pulling in over $268 million at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures is going to take Neighbors into sparsely treaded territory with a sequel. THR reports that the studio has set Neighbors 2 for release on May 13th, 2016, and the sequel will bring back Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne as the main cast members. In addition, director Nicholas Stoller will be back behind the camera with Efron producing with his Point Grey Pictures writing and producer partner Evan Goldberg. It's not clear who will be writing, but the original film's writers Andrew Jay Cohen & Brendan O’Brien are executive producing.
Unfortunately, this comedy sequel feels like a weak cash-in on the success of the first one. If you had a hard time thinking of a good idea for a sequel to the film about a couple battling with a loud fraternity that just moved in next door, it sounds like the filmmakers did too. This time it will be a sorority that moves in next door to the couple, so Rogen and Byrne recruit their former fraternity enemies too help them deal with the situation. That just seems like a cheap, easy idea, and while there will surely be a throw away line about how insane it is that this is happening to our characters again, that's no excuse.
Part of what made the first Neighbors so great was that the characters were actually well-written, having significance beyond the conflict between the married couple and the fraternity. The script didn't make the fraternity brothers two-dimensional villains, Rogen had some growing up to do with his wife, and Byrne was allowed to have just as much fun as the boys. It was an exceptional original comedy. But this sequel idea just doesn't sound promising at all. As a fan of the first film and everyone involved, I'm still hoping that there's some good comedy on the way, but count me skeptical for now. How about you?