Even though it won’t open until Aug. 12, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” already has a historical distinction — as one of the very few orphaned sequels.
The follow-up to 1999’s “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” was greenlit in 2002 by Disney. But a year later, the Mouse House rejected the script, penned by star Rob Schneider with David Garrett and Jason Ward.
The sequel — which culminates at the 73rd Annual Man-Whore Awards show — was deemed too raunchy for release by the family-friendly company, even though the original grossed a surprising $93 million worldwide.
Schneider and producers Happy Madison needed only a few months to find a new studio. Not surprisingly, the comedy wound up at Sony, where Happy Madison is based and has generated the Adam Sandler hits “Anger Management, “50 First Dates” and “The Longest Yard.”
Sony — which has suffered through a disappointing spring and summer — is unabashed about the R-rated aspects of “European Gigolo.” It’s using Schneider and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the campaign’s signature image and holding a Man-Whore of the Year contest with Maxim magazine in Las Vegas on Aug. 6.
Studio’s also launching the pic fairly quickly in foreign markets, opening in Germany, Austria and Holland on Aug. 19 and in Belgium, Italy and Spain the following weekend.
“Rob’s one of the best in the business at going out to promote his films,” notes Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl. VP Jay Sands.