The summer movie season is always chocked full of sequels and remakes, and this year is no different. Next month, Universal will bring back Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, where this married couple squares off against a sorority that movies in next door, right when they're trying to sell their house. Yahoo! Movies recently caught up with co-writer and director Nick Stoller, who teased that he found some surprising inspiration in an unexpected source: the Pixar sequel Toy Story 2.
"I looked at the Toy Story movies as inspiration. If the first Neighbors is a dumb, gross, R-rated Toy Story, this is like a dumb, gross, R-rated Toy Story 2. Each of the Toy Storys are telling an emotional story, but they're comedic. They're so successful creatively in terms of the stories they're telling. And they're pretty grounded"
Naturally, the R-rated comedy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Toy Story 2 are telling much different stories, but the director also spoke about how difficult it is to make a comedy sequel. He added that the story has to "evolve" from its original premise, citing Meet the Fockers as a great example, where the audience meets a completely new set of parents. In the case of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the rowdy fraternity from the original Neighbors is replaced by an equally raucous sorority. Here's what he had to say about how comedy sequels need to tell a story that is same but different at once.
"And the other thing that's really hard with comedy sequels is people want some of the same stuff, but they don't want the same movie again. It would be like in Toy Story 2, if Buzz and Woody were fighting again. It's like, 'No, they already fought, they figured their stuff out. They don't need to fight anymore.' So it's figuring out the evolution of everyone's relationships."
Along with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne returning as Mac and Kelly, this sequel also brings back Zac Efron as Teddy, who helps his former neighbors take down this sorority. Teddy is said to be having a quarter-life crisis as he watches his friends adjust to the real world, while Mac and Kelly are expecting their second child, and worrying that they're not good enough as parents. We'll have to wait and see if audiences flock to this follow-up like they did with the original Neighbors, which earned $270.6 million worldwide from a $28 million budget. What do you think about Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising drawing inspiration from Toy Story 2?