Helms, Cooper, Galifianakis getting $15M for Hangover 3

In case The Hangover 2 left you with nagging questions like, “Why does Justin Bartha get the short end of the stick each time?” or “Were there any jokes they didn’t repeat from the first Hangover?” then you are in luck. Warner Bros. is sticking its debit card in the Todd Phillips ATM one more time, because the studio is currently in negotiations with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis for a third installment of the Wolfpack franchise.

And it looks like the three best friends are about to get paid.

Sources close to the negotiations say Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are asking for $15 million each (against backend) to reprise their roles, and they now are likely to get it.

That’s a big raise from 2009’s The Hangover, which was made for about $35 million and paid the headliners under $1 million each (Cooper made the most because he had the biggest name recognition at the time). When the R-rated bachelor-party comedy unexpectedly grossed $467 million worldwide, the studio found itself without talent deals for a sequel. Negotiations were heated for The Hangover Part II, released last May, with the three principals each scoring around $5 million, according to a source, plus back-end compensation that raised their haul into the mid-teens (and counting) when the movie grossed $581 million worldwide. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

First of all, good for them. They deserve to be paid A-list money for a third installment because as you just read, The Hangover movies are cash cows. But let’s not kid ourselves, the only positive outcome of The Hangover 3 is their payday. So let me save Phillips and Co. a little time and make a few bold predictions…

The plot will now revolve around Alan (Zach G.) inexplicably meeting the girl of his dreams and getting engaged. I’m going to guess it will be someone both ridiculously hot and funny for full comedic effect. Let’s say… Malin Akerman. She’ll be quirky and off the wall, and the guys will spend the whole film questioning how someone as strange and inept as Alan could score her. Or she could be a money-grubbing skank and the other guys can’t believe Alan doesn’t see it. Either way.

Meanwhile, it’s bachelor party time, because Phil (Cooper) loves to party, despite being married with kids, and Stu (Helms) is going to want some revenge. Will they go with another crazy locale that carries a mantra like “Whatever happens…” or will they try to trump the first two with a twist? I predict a twist like they attend a Jonas Brothers concert and Alan ends up getting backstage and then Stu means to drug Alan, but he somehow ends up drugging all three of them and they kidnap Nick Jonas.

So they black out and they wake up in a random location – I’m going with some sort of seedy dark safe house, because I predict that the center of their blackout plot will be that they broke Mr. Chow out of prison. But there’s a catch – Chow claims he’s innocent and Alan believes him, so they’re going to try to prove his innocence since they’re also on the run from the FBI, CIA and Interpol. Oh, and they need to get back to Alan’s house in time for the wedding!

Hilarity in the form of the same jokes retold in Hangover 2 ensues, a few special guests make cameos as people reminding them how much fun they had, and… oh, we’re going to need something cute simulating a sex act, like a baby masturbating or a monkey blowing a monk. I’m going with a penguin motorboating a woman with comically large tits. They make it back in time and either they all celebrate Alan’s marriage or they convince him to see that she’s a gold digger. Then they conveniently find a camera and blah blah blah.

That about wraps up my predictions, so I’m available for rewrites, Warner Bros.

[Editor’s Note: This is what Zach Galifianakis told Rolling Stone about it back in June: “They want to do a Hangover III,” he says. “I’m getting fricking phone calls already.” According to what he’s heard, the plot ditches the format of the first two and focuses on his character escaping from a mental institution with help from the wolf pack.]