Phillips named Director of the Year

ShoWest honoree talks about his career

The Long Island boy knew what he wanted to do as soon as he saw “Animal House” and “Caddyshack,” and those raucous hits inspired his own raucous hits “Road Trip” and “Old School,” as well as his legendary 1998 doc, “Frat House,” an unvarnished look at Greek-geek culture which HBO bought and then quickly shelved after a public outcry.

“I should revisit the guys now, kind of like a Michael Apted thing. I think they’d be cool with it,” says Todd Phillips, who’s currently revisiting “The Hangover” instead.

“I’m still in shock that it did so well,” he says of the film’s $277 million gross. “I’m halfway through the script for the sequel and hope to start shooting this fall, with the same cast – though I don’t know about the chicken.”

Phillips is also finishing up “Due Date,” his eagerly awaited new comedy starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis and Jamie Foxx, due out in November.

“I think it’ll feel similar to ‘The Hangover,’ and I only mean that in the sense that the one-liner doesn’t do the film justice,” he notes. ” The Hangover’ was a better movie than you expected based on the line, ‘Guys go to Vegas for a bachelor party.’ And ‘Due Date’s’ really about this tortured relationship between Zach and Robert and the pain they go through.”

He also hopes it’ll have the same crossover appeal as “The Hangover” did. “It’s about guys, but a lot of women went to see ‘The Hangover,’ ” he points out. “They like to love as much as men, and I think it connected with so many people because it’s unapologetically funny. No one apologizes for all the bad behavior.”

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