Liam Neeson replacing Mel Gibson in 'The Hangover 2', report says
Liam Neeson will reportedly make a brief appearance as a tattoo artist in The Hangover 2 instead of Mel Gibson, whose cameo was called off following lack of support from several cast and crew members.
Gibson has been making headlines in recent months due to an ugly custody battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and a leaked explicit, sexist and racist rant against her said to have been made by him.
Bradley Cooper, who is reprising his role as party-loving Phil in The Hangover 2 and who starred with Neeson in the film The A-Team earlier this year, was instrumental in getting Neeson the part, The Hollywood Reporter said, adding that no official offer has yet been made.
Cast member Zach Galifianakis may have been among those who objected to Gibson's participation in the film, the trade publication said, quoting the Hangover actor as saying on a podcast last week: "I'm in deep protest right now about a movie I'm working on, up in arms about something."
Galifianakis has not commented about the matter. Gibson also caused controversy in 2006, when he hurled anti-Semitic and sexist comments as he was being arrested for drunken driving. He later entered rehab for alcohol-related treatment.
"I thought Mel would have been great in the movie," Todd Phillips, said in a statement carried by People magazine. "But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew."
The original 2009 film saw a group of groomsmen who set out for a trip to Las Vegas before their friend's wedding and lose the groom-to-be during their drunken misadventures. The sequel depicts their hijinks-filled trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
The Hollywood Reporter had said earlier this week that the tattoo artist character is "pivotal" to the plot, of The Hangover 2, which "features one of the characters going under the needle during a night of debauchery."