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The 2011 black comedy ‘Horrible Bosses’ had moviegoers commiserating knowingly and by turns laughing until their sides split with its portrayal of three employers, each epitomizing the “boss from hell,” and three protagonist employees who decide their only respite is to off one another’s bosses.
New Line Cinema confirmed to E! Online earlier this month that a sequel to the box office hit will be in the works as of summer this year; with the original main character cast, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day and Jason Bateman returning to play the three beleaguered white collars. Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) is a newly-engaged dental assistant taxed with deflecting the overt sexual advances of his boss, Dr. Julia Harris, played by Jennifer Aniston – revealing a sultry side to the actress known for her comic timing that surprisingly suits.
Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) works at a financial firm for the autocratic-to-the-extreme David Harken (Kevin Spacey), who chews him out for being two minutes late (using surveillance camera footage as grounds for incrimination) and deceives Nick into believing a promotion is around the corner, only to snatch the role of VP of Sales for himself. Who hasn’t met one of those? Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) loved his job until his boss died of a heart attack and the company is taken over by the next of kin: a party animal and cocaine addict (played by Colin Farrell) who brings prostitutes to the office and fires a member of staff for being “fat”. The trio hatch a plot to kill one another’s bosses under the tutelage of self-proclaimed murder consultant Motherf**ker Jones (Jamie Foxx).
On paper, the plot sounds rickety; but the film milks most of its laughs from strategically-placed expletives, toilet humor and endless spates of misfortunes descending on the characters until you can hardly believe three people can get themselves into such a colossal mess. The redeeming factor is that the plausibility is airtight, so that viewers can’t help but think “Oh my God, that could happen to me.” Dale is prevented from resigning because of Julia’s threats that she will lie to his fiancee that she and Dale had sexual relations (unless he actually consents to the act), and Nick’s boss has threatened to pencil in a fictitious “drinking problem” and “disruptive behavior” into his reference letter.
The film grossed $209 million during its theatre run – not a bad return on investment for a project that cost $35 million to make – and racked up one of the top box office openings ($28.1 million) of all time for a film of its genre.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sequel will feature “a brand new set of bosses”, although Aniston’s and Spacey’s characters may make cameo appearances. Two of the three screenwriters from the original, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein – minus Michael Markowitz – will be staying on to pen ‘Horrible Bosses 2’. New Line Cinema is currently in talks with ‘Horrible Bosses’ director Seth Gordon about spearheading the sequel.