“I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of [WB president] Jeff Robinov and his team,” Phillips said. “But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.”
One prominent actor in the film, Galifianakis, was likely among those in the anti-Mel camp, according to The Wrap.
The “Bored to Death” star had said in a Comedy Death-Ray podcast that he was “in a deep protest … up in arms about something” that involved a movie he was working on.
Galifianakis was mum with details, but did not dispute podcast host Scott Aukerman’s not-so-subtle reference that he believed the actor was referring to “The Hangover.”
That Gibson was selected for the “Hangover” role signaled a rare show of support in Hollywood, where Gibson counts actresses Jodie Foster and Whoopi Goldberg on a small list of those willing to defend the Oscar-winner in public.
"When you love a friend, you don't abandon them when they're struggling,” said Foster recently, who co-stars with Gibson in the upcoming film “The Beaver.”
Over the summer, Gibson lost his longtime talent representation following a slew of leaked recordings online that appeared to show him berating his ex-gal pal, Oksana Grigorieva, with racist and sexist language.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s department went on to probe Grigorieva’s claim that Gibson hit her in a Jan. 6 incident, and turned over the result of the domestic violence investigation to the LA District Attorney’s office.
The Sheriff Department’s separate investigation into whether Grigorieva tried to blackmail Gibson is ongoing.