Grown Ups 2 – Sandler’s 1st sequel ever

July 12, 2013 by Tom Ferda 

Published in Film Trailers Magazine July 12, 2013

What happens when a guy like Adam Sandler makes the most successful comedy movie of his two-decade film acting career?

He returns years later to do his first sequel.

Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison brings “Grown Ups 2” to theaters three years after “Grown Ups”, a 2010 summer blockbuster that kicked ass and took names at the box office. After opening with a $40 million weekend in June 2010, “Grown Ups” raked in more than $268 million worldwide.

In “Grown Ups 2” Sandler plays Lenny Feder, a Hollywood hotshot who packs up his family and relocates them to his Americana hometown to offer them a better family life.

Sandler’s comic cohorts Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade return in the sequel that is directed by Denis Dugan who also directed “Grown Ups”. Dugan was also behind the lens for “Happy Gilmore”, “Big Daddy”, “Jack & Jill” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”, and this film marks the 8th time he and Sandler have teamed up on the same set.

Photo: Tracy Bennett Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Photo: Tracy Bennett Courtesy of Columbia Pictures / Dugan and Sandler on set

“It was just exciting to bring everybody back together,” says Dugan. “All the characters and relationships were so rich and funny, we knew there were lots more stories to be told. It’s like visiting old friends.”

“It’s a playful competition,” Rock said referring to being on set with this laundry list of funnymen. “I wanted to be funnier than Spade, Spade wants to be funnier than Kevin, and Kevin wants to be funnier than Adam. You just can’t help it, if you’re a comedian. I think we really do make each other funnier.”

In filming GU2 the crew returned to the north shore of Massachusetts, where they also shot the first film, where they found the picturesque and historical towns of Marblehead and Swampscott to serve as the fictional town of Stanton, Connecticut.

“Grown Ups one has an authentic Americana vibe to it,” Production Designer Aaron Osborne said. “I wanted to honor that while at the same time build it up and add to it.”

And build he did, to the tune of a 45,000 square foot soundstage in Swampscott to house the Feder home backyard that included a tree house and pool. The filmmakers located a house with a great front yard then began designing a back yard to match it and created that back yard on the soundstage.

“We just never could find the house with right backyard,” says Dugan. “And even if we could find it, we realized that we wanted to shoot a nighttime party there – which would mean six weeks of night shooting, 9 PM to 6 AM. So we built a soundstage. We wouldn’t be disturbing the community and we could shoot day-for-night – and it’s much easier for the actors to be funny at 3 PM than at 3 AM.”

Rounding out the main cast are Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, and Nick Swardson but like most Sandler films, GU2 features several cameo appearances as well.

Photo: Tracy Bennett - Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Photo: Tracy Bennett - Courtesy of Sony Pictures

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal takes on the role of Officer Fluzoo. “It’s great to know Adam, great to work with him,” says the 15-time NBA All-Star. “In my first scene, I was actually kind of nervous – I had to put myself in basketball mode. I saw Adam, Chris, and David, and I said to myself, ‘OK, there’s Jordan, there’s Bird, there’s Magic. Just go do what you do, Shaq.’”

For all you camera geeks out there, GU2 was shot on a Red Epic using Panasonic Primo lenses.

Contact Tom via email: tom@tomferda.com

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