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Will Mel Gibson up the hilarity level in, or cast a weird shadow over, 'The Hangover 2?'

October 18, 2010 | 11:54 am

Gibson

It worked with Mike Tyson in "The Hangover." But can director Todd Phillips make a celebrity cameo  uncomfortably funny with a much more, er, complicated figure?

The New York Post reported this morning that Mel Gibson will play a Bangkok tattoo artist  in "The Hangover 2." Two people close to the production confirmed to The Times that Gibson -- who's maintained radio silence since recordings apparently capturing his violent rants against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva surfaced this summer -- will play an American expat living in Thailand. (The gang goes to Southeast Asia in the new installment for the wedding of Ed Helms' character to a Thai-American woman; the movie has begun shooting in Southern California and will head to Thailand in several weeks.)

Gibson and Phillips have not worked together before, but the director is clearly hoping that the riff on real-life events will elevate the laugh factor -- and the shock value -- of his movie. Gibson, meanwhile, is no doubt banking that a little self-referential humor could rehab a screen career that needs all the help it can get.

It's unclear if the purported tattoo artist is a totally fictional character or if Gibson will be playing himself, banished to tattoo artistry in the wake of his scandal. Either way, the casting news raises inevitable distinctions between Tyson, who was generally seen as a troubled but liked figure at the moment "Hangover" came out, and Gibson, who still rankles many. A lot can happen in seven months -- the movie is set to come out in May.

"Hangover 2" could now also have a weird ripple effect on 'The Beaver,' " the quirky dramatic comedy that stars Gibson as a man who counts a beaver puppet as his best friend. The long-ago-completed movie has not been given a release date, but Summit Entertainment, which is distributing the film, could now gauge the reaction to the Gibson presence before making their own decision. If audiences are ready to laugh about him hamming it up in Thailand, they may be ready to see him doing the same with a beaver puppet.

--John Horn and Steven Zeitchik 

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Mel Gibson in 'Edge of Darkness.' Credit: Macall Polay / Warner Bros.

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Comments () | Archives (33)

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Upon consideration, this *is* probably the only way I would ever pay to see a movie with Mel Gibson in it.

Hopefully, Mel will not shoot any beaver while getting over a hangover.

what's also pretty interesting about this is Zach Galafianiks has said that he had some issues while filming Hangover 2. maybe he was against this casting?

I will pay good money to see any film in which Mel Gibson is involved, and probably more than once. And I know many other cinephiles who feel the same way.

I think it's hysterical.

This is so brilliant on Gibson's part. This is the best possible thing that he could of done, because people like when you make fun of yourself *cough* David Letterman. And good call by Todd Phillips to do this. It definitely will add some extra spice to the highly anticipated sequel.

Mel Gibson ...... boring same actor and He is a selfish man.... why not give new rookie actor....

Loved Hangover, but will NOT see Hangover 2. There is nothing funny about Mel Gibson or his actions.

No interest to ever see Mel again... Tyson in Bangkok would make more sense. He's already got the tattoos.

I am looking forward for any Gibson's cinema roll. His entertainment value is priceless. His cinematic vision nonpareil. So, I don't give an iota about his private life. I don't know him personally, nor do I care. Peace.

I don't care how much he has insulted jews, blacks, asians, and hispanics, he's OK in my book.

Yeah, Mel, this is not the same as Tom Cruise being brilliantly featured in "Tropic Thunder" after an extended ride on the Crazy Train. As a Black woman, your rants on tape to Oksana cut very deeply, and we all now know what kind of person you REALLY are when the cameras go off.

You got your second bite at the career apple after the whole anti-Jewish rant a few years ago; there will not be a third time. Don't think that a cameo of you "yukking it up" will make us all forget. "The Hangover 2" will be successful in spite of you, not because of you.

I have nothing but respect for Mel Gibson the only man to tell these women whats really on his mind. I would of done the same thing if a women was trying to steal all my money!!!

Gibson's presence would have no impact on whether I view a movie. I'm not the morality police and his personal life actions don't impact whether I'll enjoy his work.

By "complicated" you mean "obviously alcoholic?" Yeah, it's creepy. And cynical to the point of disgusting.

I would rather watch both of my dogs poo little teenie weenie poo-poo loafs all day on my carpet, with no air conditioning on, in a 90 degree room.

"Destroyed in a manner agreed upon by both parties."
- Mel Gibson.
That's funny.

I loved the Hangover and until now excited about the sequel. Mel is the modern picture boy of hate. Any inclusion of Mel Gibson in any project excludes millions of moviegoers like myself from ever witnessing a single frame of this project. Nice way to kill off a sequel before it ever gets off the ground.

I wouldn't see the movie. I've had enough of Mel. Even though, one less fan for Mel will not make a big difference, I don't support his actions/choices that he has made recently.

These days, bad publicity never seems like a detriment to the person.

Love Gibson. Look forward to seeing him in this and more movies in the future.

Mel Gibson has shown himself to be a homophobic, anti-semite, racist, abuser who tries to hide behind a veil of religious zealotry. I wont ever pay to see Mel Gibson in anything. I'm amazed anyone would employ him and expect it not to hurt their project.

After hearing he is now slated to play in this sequel, sorry don't want to see it! The guy is slime!

It maybe a bit tackey to play a tattoo artest. I think his role as a private investigator (the connection) would much better fit the description; but he does pritty well at just about any thing. I also like to see him and other actors from Austrialua do more leading roles; but not sequals such as 1 and 2 can some time it hurt the actor reputation. A story should have good plot and ending. Scary movies and scify movies its ok to have sequal because their are not leading role of reality.

I love me some Mel!!!

 
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