Mel Gibson’s planned cameo in “The Hangover 2” was quickly turning the set of the comedy into a psychological drama, leading Warner Brothers to fire the actor before he showed up on the set, TheWrap has learned.
Director Todd Phillips had the inspired idea of giving the radioactive Gibson a cameo as a Bangkok tattoo artist, an idea that Warner Brothers co-president Jeff Robinov supported, individuals close to the production told TheWrap.
But news of the casting quickly darkened the on-set mood, and the topic began to dominate the interaction and conversation. Though Zach Galifianakis was the only star to speak openly (if obliquely) against the decision, not one among the ensemble cast was in favor of Gibson's involvement.
“We don’t need the tension,” one individual said was the conclusion after a few days of nonstop discussion among the castmembers and crew, which includes a tight group of veterans who have worked on all of Philips’ movies.
“It became a ‘thing,’” the person told TheWrap.
Gibson was “very excited” when he was first offered the cameo, which was supposed to shoot this weekend over a single day. Phillips called Gibson to tell him the news that it was canceled, which surprised the actor, one of the individuals told TheWrap.
With a limited number of days to shoot in Los Angeles, Gibson's role was quickly recast with Liam Neeson.
Gibson first became a Hollywood pariah over his drunken, anti-semitic rant during a traffic stop in 2006. But he continued to work in Hollywood, directing “Apocalypto” and starring in “Edge of Darkness.”
He turned hyper-toxic earlier this year when a series of terrifying, racist and threatening rants against girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva were leaked to Radaronline.com.
A comeback seemed impossible then. Now that the coolest kids in Hollywood have shunned them from their table, it’s going to take an even bigger miracle than a friendly nod from the top brass at Hollywood’s hottest comedy property to get him back on the big screen.