After all the press Liam Neeson got after he stepped in to replace Mel Gibson in a cameo for "The Hangover Part II," it turns out the actor won't be in the film after all.
According to Variety, Neeson's scenes as a "crazy" and "intense" tattoo artist were cut because director Todd Phillips was forced to do reshoots and Neeson was not available to shoot new alternate scenes.Mel Gibson was originally supposed to play the tattoo artist but was replaced following lack of support from several cast and crew members.
During filming in the fall, Gibson had been making headlines due to the ugly custody battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and a leaked explicit, sexist and racist rant against her said to have been made by him.
Cast member Zach Galifianakis may have been among those who objected to Gibson's participation in the film, The Hollywood Reporter said in October, quoting the Hangover actor as saying on a podcast last week: "I'm in deep protest right now about a movie I'm working on, up in arms about something."
Bradley Cooper, who is reprising his role as party-loving Phil in "The Hangover Part II" and who starred with Neeson in the film "The A-Team" earlier this year, was instrumental in getting Neeson the part, The Hollywood Reporter said, adding that no official offer has yet been made.
"I thought Mel would have been great in the movie," Todd Phillips, said in a statement carried by People magazine. "But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew."
Nick Cassavetes, the director of "The Notebook" who has also had acting credits in films like "Blow" and "Face/Off," has stepped in to play the tattoo artist role.
"We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part," Phillips told Variety. "He came in and crushed it and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film. [I'm excited for everyone] to see the film. It turned out great."
In the first R-rated comedy movie, which hit theaters in 2009, hijinks ensued when the four arrived in Las Vegas for a bachelor party ahead of the wedding of Doug, played by Bartha.
In the sequel, the four travel to Bangkok for Stu's wedding. Helms plays the character and famously lost a tooth in the first film and judging from the poster, he's even worse off this time. "The Hangover Part II" also features a cameo by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The film is set for release during Memorial Day weekend on May 26.