Nearly four years ago, the unlikely sequel Beverly Hills Ninja 2 was greenlit as the first mainstream Hollywood film to shoot in South Korea, symbolizing just how much America values that special relationship. Unfortunately, the would-be continuation of a story even cable has forgotten hit a few significant snags along the way, not least of which is that it was a sequel to the commercially dismal, critically reviled Beverly Hills Ninja—a project Chris Farley himself would refuse even if he weren’t dead, which forced the producers to find a replacement star in David Hasselhoff, who would do it either way (though his contract stipulates a larger fee if you want him alive). And now it seems as though it will never find its way to its rightful place in the Wal-Mart $5 Movie bin, as The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the surprisingly complex back-and-forth on how Beverly Hills Ninja 2 fell apart, which somehow did not happen the second those involved realized they were making Beverly Hills Ninja 2.
Instead it all boils down to soured relations between the movie's Korean investors and producer Jay So—a man described, in perhaps the story's saddest detail, as a former “prestigious scholarship recipient” at the American Film Institute who graduated with a Best Picture award, then suddenly found himself setting up a production entity titled “Beverly Hills Ninja 2, LLC” and spending much of a year working on that, as well as telling people that’s who he worked for. As a reward for his devotion, So soon found himself ousted from the production without explanation by original screenwriter Mitchell Klebanoff, who struck a secret deal to replace him with producer Jungho Han. And then—just as those two had finally completed some shoots with Hasselhoff in L.A. and Vancouver, and seemed ready to make totally unmerited movie magic—Klebanoff too was fired, after he and Han “argued over things like whether the film's lead actress should appear nude in the film.” Which, obviously she should, because otherwise it is a Beverly Hills Ninja sequel with David Hasselhoff and zero female nudity.
Anyway, no point arguing about it now: Klebanoff successfully sued last year and now So is doing the same, all but ensuring that Beverly Hills Ninja 2 will never see the light of day. It will, however, live on in various courtrooms, where judges will actually have to sit and listen to two people argue over their respective visions for Beverly Hills Ninja 2, and all without just sentencing both to 20 years hard labor.
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