Say you’ve decided to wring a sequel out of a popular but largely forgotten studio comedy vehicle for Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Do you go with The Other Guys, a glowingly reviewed and uproarious cop-movie spoof with plenty of natural potential for new stories in the never-ending backlog of police cases, not to mention a timely subtext in its pointed criticisms of greedy corporate types? No, you go with the one that made more money, which in this case happens to be Daddy’s Home, a family comedy about a nebbish competing with his new wife’s badass first husband for the love of her children.

Fair enough, that makes sense, can’t argue with numbers in showbiz. Your next task is to find a pair of new costars, presumably to age the basic premise one generation so that a pair of oldsters concurrently play out the same game of one-upsmanship with added old-people jokes. You’ve already landed John Lithgow, beloved star of stage and screens both small and large, so now you just need an ample tough-guy opposite. For your broadly appealing family comedy, do you hire noted anti-Semite, drunken-rant orator and current Best Director Academy Award nominee Mel Gibson, or do you hire literally anyone else? Regrettably, apparently, you went with that first one.

Yes, Lithgow and an inexplicably forgiven Gibson have entered negotiations to star in a unanticipated sequel to Daddy‘s Home, according to a new item from Deadline. The post doesn’t offer much more in the way of details, refraining from specifying what roles the men might play or particulars of plot. But there you have it, another surreal twist in the ongoing bad trip that is 2017: Mel Gibson has been reinstated as a crowd-pleasing box-office draw.

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