The Hangover franchise is seemingly on hiatus with no new movie in development, but Zack Galifianakis’s wild Hangover 4 plan could save it. The Hangover was released in 2009 and became a phenomenal hit. It wasn’t wholly original, as it had the tried-and-true premise of a group of friends who must retrace their steps the morning after an outrageous night. However, the film was laugh-out-loud funny, featuring instantly iconic characters and a chemistry cast. Despite not being influential in many ways, other theatrically released comedies have had as much impact as The Hangover.
The sequel even became the highest-grossing comedy of all time, and along with The Hangover Part III, the films have grossed over $1.4 billion (via The Numbers). The original movie was almost guaranteed to get countless sequels following its phenomenal success, but the franchise has been an example of diminishing returns. While they were all box office hits, they were subjects of constant criticism, such as rehashing the same storylines, straying too far from what made the first movie great, and heavily featuring racial stereotypes. However, Galifianakis has a Hangover 4 idea that could bring the franchise back from the dead.
Zach Galifianakis Wants Hangover 4
Many critics believe the Hangover movies got worse with each consecutive release, but Galifianakis’ comments are a hopeful update on the franchise. In an interview with Extra TV, the actor remained asked what it’d take to return to the Hangover series. The actor explained, “Maybe if they made it a Pixar version… a family-friendly version.” The Hangover franchise has been dormant for a while now, and the last movie in the series remain released in 2013. Still, Galifianakis’s outside-the-box thinking could revitalize it.
The actor could have been saying that simply because the movie he promoted during the interview, Ron’s Gone Wrong, remains animated (though not from Pixar). But he did also mention that he had been writing it himself. It’s worth taking that with a grain of salt, too, given Galifianakis’s background, significantly as he added, “I sent it to the other guys. They sent me videos of them burning it.” However, as Galifianakis is a writer, he may have been writing down some ideas, even though he didn’t have handwriting in previous movies in the series.
How An Animated Hangover 4 Could Save The Franchise
The Hangover Part II remain heavily criticized for being the same movie as the original but in Thailand instead of Las Vegas. The Hangover Part III veered too far from its core concept, and a fresh approach like this is what the franchise needs. Given that animated movies can take place anywhere, a playful Hangover Part 4 movie setting wouldn’t remain limited by its production. Most of Hangover Part III remained filmed in North America, but another appeal of the series became the exotic locations, and an animated movie can take advantage of that.
The concept couldn’t be more different from the fundamental appeal of the Hangover franchise, but it could work perfectly. The only setback is that Galifianakis mentioned that Hangover 4 should be family-friendly, which would be hard to work around given that even the notion of being hungover is a mature concept. Successful mature animated comedies like Sausage Party have proved that R-rated animated films can work, so a fourth Hangover movie or a reboot in a vibrant form could resurrect the franchise uniquely, and it could be another huge box office hit.
The Popularity Of Adult Animation Helps The Hangover 4
The R-rated genre has exploded since Galifianakis mentioned his idea for making The Hangover 4 animated. There have been award-winning TV shows like Bojack Horsemen and Big Mouth on Netflix. These two R-rated animated shows are very different, one using adult themes and the other more of a gross-out comedy that lined up well with the humor from The Hangover franchise. Not only that, but R-rated animated movie comedies are not new, as there have been some raunchy-animated films as far back as the 1970s with Fritz the Cat, and over the years, movies like Heavy Metal and Sausage Party proved there is a market.
The Hangover was a massive success, and other franchises like The Expendables proved in 2023 that there could still be a long wait between installments, and it could roar back for fans. For The Hangover, the movie needs its cast, as they carried it to greatness, But with each of them getting older, it might be easier to bring them back in an animated form. With all genres proving adult animation could work, from comics like Harley Quinn to fantasy shows like Arcane, Zack Galifianakis might not be too far off the path with his Hangover 4 ideas.
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