Liam Neeson’s cameo as a Bangkok tattoo artist in “The Hangover Part II” has been cut, director Todd Phillips exclusively told Variety, and Nick Cassavetes has been recast in the role originally envisioned for Mel Gibson.
Phillips explained that the Thailand-set sequel “follows a similar structure to the first ‘Hangover,’ in that it is a mystery/investigation comedy” with interlocking scenes.
While editing, Phillips chose to cut the scene that immediately followed Neeson’s cameo, meaning it no longer had the information necessary to logically get the Wolf Pack (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms) to what became the next scene.
Three weeks ago, Phillips decided to reshoot the scene, but Neeson was in London shooting WB’s “Clash of the Titans” sequel and was no longer available.
With the “Hangover” sequel set for release over Memorial Day weekend, Phillips had to hustle to reshoot the scene that became infamous when the cast and crew objected in October to Gibson’s casting in the aftermath of his personal and legal troubles. Wanting to keep the good vibe on set, Phillips switched to Neeson.
“We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part,” Phillips explained. “He came in and crushed it and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film. (I’m excited for everyone) to see the film. It turned out great.”
“The Hangover Part II” hits theaters May 26.