“Half Baked 2” was among a dozen projects selected Monday to receive a share of $40 million in tax credit allocations by the California Film Commission, giving credence to sporadic reports that a sequel to the 1998 cult hit starring Dave Chappelle is indeed headed for production.
The state’s tax credit program requires recipients to begin filming within 180 days. The commission also confirmed that the production will take place within the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone.
“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck yoouu, you’re cool, and fuck you I’m out!” is presumably how Universal went about selecting a screenwriter for the sequel, settling on actor and comedian Justin Hires.
“Excited to announce I’ll be writing the sequel to Half Baked,” Hires confirmed Dec. 11 on his Instagram account, adding “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.” Hires is best known for his starring role as Wilt Bozer on the CBS reboot of “MacGyver.”
“Half Baked” had a lackluster run at the box office, grossing $17.5 million on a budget of $8 million. Critics also panned the movie calling it “juvenile” while penning plenty of puns related to the film’s title. It currently has a 29% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a measly rating of 16 on Metacritic.
However, following the film’s uninspiring theatrical release, “Half Baked” gained a cult following on television and VHS, leading to multiple re-releases on DVD. Once co-writers Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan gained international acclaim for their work on the Comedy Central run of “Chappelle’s Show,” critics and audiences alike re-examined the merits of the stoner comedy, rewarding it with a renewed sense of redemption.
The sequel is said to follow the son of Chappelle’s character from the original movie. To the disappointment of many, however, the esteemed comedian is reportedly not involved with the project in any capacity. It’s not yet clear if any other actors from the original will return.
Chappelle’s displeasure with how the original flick turned out is well known, feeling it was inappropriately geared towards a younger audience. “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,” Chappelle said in 2014 during an interview on Inside the Actors Studio. “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.”