‘Hangover Part III’ gang embarks on a road trip as filming begins

The Wolfpack are hitting the road.

Production is officially underway on writer/director Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover Part III,” with central foursome Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha set to return as Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug, respectively. And as teased by Warner Bros., there appears to be something a little different in store for this installment.

“This time, there”s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off,” reads the studio’s press release, hinting at a more “road movie”-style spin.

Based on the mixed response to last year’s “The Hangover Part II” – which despite being a blockbuster commercial hit received a mainly lukewarm-to-negative response from critics – perhaps the narrative change-up is a good thing, as a common criticism of the film was that it felt derivative of the first entry despite moving the location from Las Vegas to Thailand.

Reuniting with the main cast on this go-round are returning players Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Gillian Vigman, Sasha Barrese and Jamie Chung. Franchise first-timer John Goodman, meanwhile, was recently cast in the role of an antagonist, who has been described as being in the vein of Paul Giamatti’s character from the second movie.

Does the idea of making the third “Hangover” film as a road movie appeal to you? Sound off below.

“The Hangover Part III” is slated for release on May 24, 2013.