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'Horrible Bosses' Returns

'Horrible Bosses 2'—Dir. Sean Anders (Warner Brothers)

After the critical and commercial success of the 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses,” Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis return for a sequel, released on Nov. 26. “Horrible Bosses 2” picks up where its predecessor left off, with Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis reprising their roles from the original film as three friends who—now free from their oppressive bosses from the first film—plan to start a small business together. Hijinks ensue when the friends, on the verge of bankruptcy, hatch an outrageous plan to kidnap the son of a wealthy businessman who had previously swindled them.

Following the first film’s release and high international gross, Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis were contacted regarding production of a potential sequel. “Warner Brothers wanted to do another one, and we were certainly open to it because we had such a good time doing the first one,” Bateman said. Despite the first film’s financial success, the three actors wanted to ensure that the sequel lived up to original’s creative ambitions. “Jason and Jason and myself had a lot of lengthy conversations about what the second story could be, and we weren’t going to do a movie if we couldn’t find a story that, for us, made sense,” Day added.

Director Seth Gordon was also scheduled to return for the sequel but departed due to scheduling conflicts, so Sean Anders (“Sex Drive”) stepped in as director and rewrote the script with collaborator John Morris. The two also worked as writers on “We’re the Millers,” a 2013 comedy starring Sudeikis as a marijuana dealer who assembles a fake family to smuggle two tons of drugs across the border from Mexico in an RV. “I think they did a great job with the rewriting of ‘Horrible,’ ‘We’re the Millers’—so it’s like having two other writers on set with us,” Sudeikis said. “There’s a whole chunk in the middle where it almost looks like a Steven Soderbergh film…. Even the stuff of us starting the business, you know, all those visual elements to it feel like a Fincher movie. It’s like something right out of ‘Fight Club.’” Day agreed that the film stands out from typical comedies by exploring a multitude of aesthetics. “When it makes sense with the film to get a little more stylized, [Anders] put a little more style…and it fits the story,” Day said.

The three actors are also joined by an ensemble cast featuring actors from the original film—Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, and Kevin Spacey reprising their roles as Dean “Motherfucker” Jones, Dr. Julia Harris, and David Harken—as well as Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Jonathan Banks, and Keegan-Michael Key playing new characters. “This is a big kind of silly commercial studio comedy, and when you can class it up with some Oscar winners it becomes a really nice balanced cocktail,” Bateman said. Sudeikis also expressed enthusiasm over the diversity of comedic talent added to the sequel. “Jonathan Banks is in one of my favorite movies of all time, ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ And so to be in a movie with him is awesome,” Sudeikis said. “And I’ve known Keegan forever—there’s a lot of Second City people in this movie.”

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Horrible Bosses 2
Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day star in "Horrible Bosses 2."

With a larger cast and big-budget effects, Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis all agreed that “Horrible Bosses 2” was a fun project to return to—though there’s no word yet on potentially turning this franchise into a trilogy. “As actors, it was really fun for the three of us to get back together again because we enjoy each other’s company and we had this great time in the first one,” Day said. “As characters, it’s a terrible thing for the three of these people to get back together again because they keep getting themselves into some serious trouble.”

—Crimson staff writer Alan R. Xie can be reached at alan.xie@thecrimson.com.

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