Home > Vulture News > Casting Coup D’état: Mel Gibson Axed From ‘Hangover 2′ After Zach Galifianakis Protests Casting Decision

Casting Coup D’état: Mel Gibson Axed From ‘Hangover 2′ After Zach Galifianakis Protests Casting Decision

Earlier this week an inside source connected to the filming of The Hangover 2 told the New York Post that Mel Gibson was on board to make a cameo appearance in the film. The oddball casting decision followed in the footsteps of the filmmaker’s casting of Mike Tyson, who appeared in the original. The source said:

It’s a done deal. Mel will make a cameo as a tattoo artist. Filming is taking place on the Warner Bros. lot, where a Bangkok set has been built, and Mel is expected to film his role in two weeks. Then the production moves to Thailand at the end of October.

Although the casting seemed to be a bright spot for Gibson, who dominated headlines over the summer when his ex wife Oksana Grigorieva released audio tapes of the actor displaying a horrifically out of control temper, the deal is now officially off. Director Todd Phillips offered this explanation:

I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of (Warner Brothers boss) Jeff Robinov and his team. But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew

It appears the reason Gibson was axed from the highly anticipated sequel is due to Zach Galifianakis. The scruffy faced actor/comedian was not amused by the decision to cast Gibson. Earlier this month, during a guest appearance on the Comedy Death Ray Podcast, Galifianakis told host Scott Aukerman:

I’m in a deep protest right now with a movie I’m working on, up in arms about something. But I can’t get the guys to [listen] … I’m not making any leeway.

When Aukerman attempted to find out whether he was referring to the filming of The Hangover 2, Galifianakis replied:

It has something to do with a movie I’m working on, yeah. I’ll tell you about it later. It’s very frustrating.

Galifianakis seems to have taken the hard line against Gibson, whose image is currently in shambles and it seems a little bit like kicking a man while he’s down. Before being axed from The Hangover 2, Gibson was dropped from the ICM talent agency and his latest film The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster, has been shelved due to the tabloid scandal. In an interview with GQ magazine for their comedy issue in June, Galifianakis spoke out about how he thought today’s comedians had less freedom say things that are politically incorrect. He said:

There’s a clip of Don Rickles. Still unbelievable. It’s in the ’70s, I imagine. He’s filling for Johnny Carson. And he’s in the audience, doing crowd work, and there was this attractive black woman. He stands her up and asks her a few questions. He’s not done talking to her, but she just decides to sit back down on her own. And he turns to the audience and he says, ‘Ever since Roots, they do what they want.’ And of course the audience starts laughing. If that had happened now, it would have been such a crazy knee-jerk reaction.

Is Galifianakis’ protest of Gibson’s hiring an example of a, “crazy, knee jerk reaction?”  Hard to say, but it will be a long while before many in Hollywood deem Gibson worthy of redemption. Foster, for her part, has chosen to stand up for Gibson, who she first worked with on Maverick in 1994, and still considers a close friend. In an interview with MORE magazine she said:

When you love a friend, you don’t abandon them when they are struggling. Of course, Mel is an undeniably gifted actor and director, and The Beaver is one of his most powerful and moving performances. But more importantly, he is and has been a true and loyal friend. I hope I can help him get through this dark moment.

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