“It still feels like we’re making the first movie,” said helmer Anthony C. Ferrante of “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” set to bow on July 30 with stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid reprising their roles as bomb-wielding shark slayers.
Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer and Judah Friedlander also join the cast. Confirmed celeb cameos include Richard Kind, Kelly Osbourne, Matt Lauer and Judd Hirsch.
“That sort of energy is still there,” Ferrante explained to a room of journos gathered Tuesday for NBCUniversal’s Summer Press Day at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. “When we set out to make the second one the idea was to come up with crazier things. If we stayed in Los Angeles it would have been boring, but we’re in New York City, so it’s a whole new set of tinker toys.”
Among those toys: the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan’s towering skyline and a tornado that drops menacing, masticating sharks on dry land.
“Sequels do suck unless they’re shot in New York City,” quipped McGrath. “I’m in this movie because I’m a fan. I feel like I won a contest being in this movie. Dreams can still happen.”
“I actually approached (Ferrante) to be in this film,” said Friedlander, who spent two days on the 18-day shoot. “This to me is the most important film made about climate change. There is nothing more important. I live in New York City and I wanted to be a part of this film to help save the city.”
While Ferrante would not reveal exactly for how much the sequel was made, he did compare the numbers to “the craft services budget” of a blockbuster studio film.
“We had a little bit more money for the second one because we were in New York, “ he said, “but we had a compressed amount of time and we pushed what we could do with the budget to the max.”
“There’s heart in this movie and that was our currency,” said Wuhrer. “We really all pulled together there weren’t any divas.”
As Friedlander pointed out, the film also boats some of the top “shark actors” in the world.
“Sharks from the Royal Academy of London came to be in the film,” he joked to reporters.
Ultimately, proffered Ferrante, the charm of the “Sharknado” franchise lay in its ability to be “unpretentious” and not take itself too seriously.
“You’re making a movie called ‘Sharknado,’” he said. “It’s like an 11-year-old wrote the film. It’s that sensibility. If you don’t embrace it, you end up with a movie that’s not fun.”
(Pictured: Judah Friedlander, Kari Wuhrer, Mark McGrath and Anthony C. Ferrante)