After more than two decades, it seems it’s time to check back in with our favorite apartment full of potheads. The possibility of a Half Baked 2 has been quietly simmering in the background for years, but with today’s news that it has acquired a highly sought-after tax credit allocation from the California Film Commission, production on the film should theoretically have to begin within the next 180 days. Which is to say: Looks like Half Baked 2 isn’t just smoke after all.
The long-awaited sequel will be directed by actor-director Justin Hires, best known for his starring role on the CBS reboot of MacGyver. Back in December, Hires said the following on Instagram about directing Half Baked 2: “Excited to announce I’ll be writing the sequel to Half Baked. Yes I know the original is a classic and yes this sequel will be [fire] because I’m writing it. Oh yeah, I write screenplays too.”
Well, that’s … confident, at least. The original 1998 Half Baked is now considered a cult classic, but was hardly a success in its initial release. It grossed just $17.5 million at the box office, on a budget of $8 million, while earning mostly negative reviews, and star/writer Dave Chappelle has in the years that followed expressed his disappointment in the project. After the pop cultural sensation of Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central, however, the film received substantial critical reevaluation, eventually becoming a TV staple and a strong seller on VHS and then DVD.
To answer the obvious question: No, Dave Chappelle is not expected to be involved in the sequel, which should hardly be surprising. Instead, Metaflix reports that the sequel is said to involve the son of Chappelle’s character, but perhaps we’ll get appearances from supporting players like Jim Breuer, Guillermo Diax or Harland Williams? The idea of a modern, big-budget stoner movie in 2020 already seems rather antiquated, doesn’t it? How will such a film deal with the fact that recreational cannabis use is now legal in 7 U.S. states?
As for Chappelle, he said the following on Inside the Actor’s Studio back in 2014 when reflecting on how he felt the original Half Baked ultimately got away from him—despite its cult popularity: “Half Baked didn’t come out the way I wanted it to come out. I was real upset about that, cause it was a real cool script. And then I saw it, I was like, ‘Hey, man, you made a weed movie for kids’ and it wasn’t for kids, the script, you know? It was all these things and so much pressure.”