It looks like Dustin Hoffman won't be returning to reprise his role as Bernie Focker in the third installment of the Meet The Parents franchise, tentatively titled Little Fockers.
Laura Dern, Jessica Alba and Harvey Keitel are the latest actors to join Little Fockers, which reunites most of the main cast from the first two films, with Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner and Owen Wilson confirmed to reprise their roles.
But for those of you looking forward to seeing Hoffman and Barbra Streisand reunite as Ben Stiller's parents, you may have to resort to popping Meet The Fockers back in the DVD player. Sources tell EW that there has been strife between Hoffman and the studio over the size of the part, the scheduling of the days on set and other difficulties.
Hoffman had tentatively agreed to appear in what was to be a very funny cameo at the end of the film. That seems to have now fallen apart, due to either salary issues or scheduling problems, or both. The studio, Universal, declined to comment. Hoffman’s rep didn’t immediately return EW’s call for comment.
Barbra Streisand was to have a prominent role in the new sequel as Stiller's mother, Roz Focker. She hasn't signed on officially at this point, and with Hoffman's involvement in turmoil, it remains to be seen how it will affect production(if at all).
Little Fockers won’t pickup right where Meet The Fockers(2004) left off, but rather true to the time between the films, some 5 or 6 years later. Dern’s casting confirmed rumors(and what the title suggests) that Stiller and Polo’s characters Gaylord Focker and Pamela Byrnes gave birth to twins, as Dern will play the headmistress of the elementary school that the Fockers’ kids attend.
Meet The Parents and Meet The Fockers director Jay Roach will be producing the film, scripted by Larry Stuckey and recently rewritten by John Hamburg, who wrote the first two films and directed and wrote this year’s I Love You Man. Paul Weitz(About A Boy/American Pie) will be taking over to direct.
Little Fockers is set to hit theaters on July 30th, 2010.
I love everyone who is returning and that has been added to the cast. I'm looking forward to seeing what Weitz can bring to the franchise. I feel that the first film was head and shoulders above the sequel though -- it really dragged on too long, despite the comedic brilliance of Hoffman in place. But that's just me. Besides, if his role was gonna be limited to a small cameo... is it that big of a deal?
What do you think of Dustin Hoffman not returning for LITTLE FOCKERS?