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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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Mel Gibson is a good for nothing, and doesn't deserve to have a part in the up and coming movie "Hangover." He is a "Weird Shadow" and a "Hangover" in every sense of the word!!

Ahh c'mon..Mel would be a 'perfect' choice for this role.
Are we all so squeeky clean? The man made some ugly choices and knows it, but to condem him for the rest of his life is not the answer. Live and let live amigos...

I don't condone rewarding bad behavior and, especially considering how disgusting, racist and misogynistic his behavior has been, there is no way I would support this casting choice by paying to see the movie. Bad karma.

Are you kidding? Making fun of yourself is the best way to make a comeback without admiting you were wrong. We like to romanticize junk and think that if folks would just come clean everything's going to be okay. But how many atheletes, entertainers and other public figures try to "come clean" and only end up paying the price? Everyone's already in on the joke and in a way it trivializes whatever you've done as "a joke"(which, of course, will only increase the anger in some). How do we know it works? Just ask Robert Downy Jr.

Mel Gibson is no longer worthy of being cast in a movie that is bound to be a hit, despite his appearance in it. I was so looking forward to the second Hangover...now I'm not so sure I want to see it at all. I'm disappointed.

what's next? OJ?

I really don't care about Mel Gibson the person. I do care about his on screen performance and I am a fan. I will see Hangover 2 because I think it probably will be entertaining and even more so with Mel Gibson in it.

I'm confused. What is a "Mel Gibson"? Does it contain gin? Is it some new kind of guitar?

 
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