Bigelow’s high on ‘Deuce’ 2

Sony financing, distribbing pic after Disney passed on project

Commercials helmer Mike Bigelow will make his feature directing debut on “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” the Happy Madison-produced sequel that begins shooting in Amsterdam in July.

Rob Schneider, who co-scripted, will reprise his starring role. Sony Pictures Entertainment is financing and distributing.

The likeness in names between the director and the character is coincidental, but the compatibility between the risque humor in the sequel and his commercials got Bigelow the job. One of his best known ads was a beer commercial in which a leather-clad dominatrix taunts her client by emptying his beer on the floor; he throws her out and calls her a “freak.”

That kind of racy humor runs throughout the “Deuce 2” script and was the reason Disney refused to make it, even though it saw the profit potential in sequelizing the sleeper hit. Happy Madison’s Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo took the script to Sony, which had no problem with the potential R rating.

The sequel transports Deuce to Amsterdam, where pimp T.J. (Eddie Griffin) tricks Deuce into once again peddling his flesh, since the great man whores of Europe are being murdered.

Director Bigelow got his start working on special effects for films such as “Total Recall.” He became an in-demand director of funny blurbs, then signed with ICM to try features.

“The best commercials I’ve made have a darkly comic tone to them, and that’s why I am glad to be directing a comedy that will carry an R rating,” he said. “I grew up loving films like ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Blazing Saddles,’ and films like that are rare now.”