It's been this week's ping-pong ball of a news story, flashing back and forth, new details coming to light here, there and everywhere. And now, it looks like we've received the final update.
According to an official statement from Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover 2, Mel won't be making an appearance. Why not? Well, here's what he said:
I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of Jeff Robinov and his team. But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.
So, who was not happy? The best guess is that Zach Galifianakis was one of the mutineers, if not the only one. Earlier in the week, Vulture reported that Galifianakis was "in deep protest" against a film he was working on, with all signs pointing clearly to this film being Hangover 2. It's a long story, but to cut it short: the actor had appeared on an episode of the Comedy Death Ray podcast and all but spelled out that he was morally repulsed by something going on with the movie. He tried not to name the movie, but did by implication, and he did sidestep entirely what it was that the issue actually was.
But now we appear to know what it was that was upsetting him, what he was "up in arms" about, what he couldn't "get the guys to listen" to.
Okay, so I can see how one might protest Mel Gibson but, myself, I'd just protest The Hangover full stop. I was appalled by how repugnant the first film was, particularly in terms of its casual misogyny. I know I'm in the minority, but that film simply didn't sit right with me at all.