(l-r): Kevin Bishop, Xavier Samuel and Kris Marshall in A Few Less Men.
A Few Less Men, the sequel to Stephan Elliott's 2011 comedy A Few Best Men, was helmed by Mark Lamprell, the screenwriter of Babe: Pig in the City and director of 2000's My Mother Frank and 2013's Goddess.
Lamprell came on board after reading the script by Dean Craig (Death at a Funeral), who wrote the original film.
"It was lovely working on somebody else's screenplay because it was a really solid screenplay structurally," Lamprell said. "I could see that there was a really good movie in there. Dean's a very accomplished writer. The whole guts of it were laid out before me."
Lamprell, who got his start at Kennedy Miller making BTS documentaries such as The Making of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), describes A Few Less Men as "a silly comedy."
"It's not high-brow wit. Penis and fart jokes abound, but it is also an enormous amount of fun, and exuberant, and a celebration of friendship. All those things attracted me to it."
Lamprell became attached when producer Laurence Malkin, with whom he was developing another project, called and said, "we've got this movie that's greenlit, do you wanna do it?"
The original cast of Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop are joined in the sequel by Shane Jacobson, Ryan Corr, Deborah Mailman, Jeremy Sims, Lynette Curran, Darren Gilshenan, Pamela Shaw and Sacha Horler.
This time out, the boys must transport their mate’s coffin back to London after a forced plane landing strands them in the middle of the Australian bush.
"I'll be forever grateful to Stephan for his prowess in casting," Lamprell told IF.
"He put together these three boys, and by the time they came back together they had forged such a friendship. They are genuinely such great chums, genuinely so affectionate with each other, [which meant] that they were totally relaxed."
"They really set the tone. And then we had these other actors come in. Those three boys embraced whoever came in and made it wonderful for them. We had to move very quickly because it was only a six-week shoot, so everybody had to be ready and raring to go."
At the end of the last movie, one of the boys falls off a cliff. The new film begins with his three friends, led by Samuel's David, trying to find him.
The director calls Samuel "the Hugo Weaving of his generation. He's in everything. He's a lovely actor. The older he gets, the more interesting he will become to audiences."
When IF spoke to Lamprell in April, he was in the final stages of sound mixing.
"I know that StudioCanal are very pleased with what they've seen and are planning a very broad release. There's a lot of energy and enthusiasm about it. They're talking about releasing it in Australia either at the end of the year or beginning of next year. Nothing definite yet."
Arclight has made presales to Lucky Red for Italy, Modus Vivendi for Pan Eastern Europe, Eastwood Holdings for Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia, Italia Films for Pan Middle East and Galaxy for Vietnam.
A Few Less Men was financed by Ingenious, Screen Australia, ScreenWest and LotteryWest, Arclight Films, New Oz and The Post Lounge.
The film was produced by Laurence Malkin, Tania Chambers and Share Stallings. Executive Producers are Craig, Gary Hamilton, Mark Lazarus, James Vernon, Josh Kesselman and Steve Cooper.