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Bridesmaids 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

"Bridesmaids" caused a sensation when it hit theaters in 2011. Taking in $169 million at the North American box office, it was the top-grossing comedy of the year and elevated the movie careers of "Saturday Night Live" standouts Kristen Wiig (who also co-wrote the script) and Maya Rudolph, while also giving Melissa McCarthy her feature film breakout role and utilizing the comic gifts of ensemble players Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Rebel Wilson, and Chris O'Dowd.

Probably because most every high-profile comedy in the early 21st century got a sequel or two, the rumors and speculation of another "Bridesmaids" movie have persisted over the years, especially since the film made a ton of money and earned Academy Award nominations for McCarthy and its script. But unlike the likes of "Anchorman," "Zoolander," and "The Hangover," a "Bridesmaids" sequel never materialized. Here's why "Bridesmaids 2" didn't happen and why expectant fans of the original may need to hold on for quite a while (if not forever).

Why isn't Bridesmaids 2 happening yet?

"Bridesmaids" significantly raised the show business profiles of its director and star/co-writer, Paul Feig and Kristen Wiig, respectively. In the decade-plus since the film reached blockbuster status in the summer of 2011, these two have been heavily in demand and have generated a lot of screen comedy. Feig went on to direct "The Heat," "Spy," and "Ghostbusters," the latter of which starred "Bridesmaids" cast members Melissa McCarthy and Wiig. As for Wiig herself, she's starred in more than four dozen movies and TV shows, including titles like "The Martian," "Zoolander 2," "Anchorman 2," "MacGruber," and "Wonder Woman 1984."

In other words, the principal creatives on "Bridesmaids" may simply be too busy to pursue a sequel, and that could be by design. "We have other ideas," Wiig said on "SiriusXM Town Hall" in 2021. She and "Bridesmaids" co-writer Annie Mumolo don't feel like "Bridesmaids 2" fits into their creative goals. "We feel like we told that story ,and we were just so excited to do other things," Wiig elaborated, with Mumolo adding, "It takes years to get movies made. And 'Bridesmaids' took many years to get made, and because it takes so many years, [we] felt like we purged that out of us."

What cast members have said about Bridesmaids 2

The original "Bridesmaids" was an ensemble comedy, a showcase for many dominant and rising funny people of the 2010s, including Ellie Kemper, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLenon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy. And the actors who've spoken out about a potential "Bridesmaids 2" sequel have reiterated co-screenwriter Kristen Wiig's affirmation that a sequel is extremely unlikely to happen with some wishful thinking and gentle persuasion that it still might be realized someday.

"For 10 years we've been saying that there will be no sequel. And that's coming from Kristen's mouth," McLendon-Covey (who played exasperated and unhappily married mother Rita) told Us Weekly in 2021. "So, yeah, there is no sequel." Rudolph (who portrayed bride-to-be Lillian) told Entertainment Tonight in 2021 that she's enthusiastic about revisiting the "Bridesmaids" world at some point in the distant future. "I guess it wouldn't be called 'Bridesmaids,' it would be called 'Old Ladies' or something," she said. "I'd be down." Rose Byrne, who played friend-stealing villain Helen, harbors a measured enthusiasm about a sequel. "It's a hard act to follow because the first film was so great," she told People in 2023. "Maybe we could do a different movie together. A re-imagining of something."

As for McCarthy — who scored an Oscar nomination for portraying tough-loving Megan — she doesn't want to wait so long. "I would do a 'Bridesmaids' sequel this afternoon, right now," she told People in 2023. "That group of women was the most magical thing ever."

What Paul Feig has said about Bridesmaids 2

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo aren't eager to return to "Bridesmaids," and sadly, neither is the original film's director, Paul Feig. From a creative perspective, it's his position that "Bridesmaids" was a kind of lightning in a bottle and that it told a singular story about a specific time in the life of its main character, floundering and lovelorn baker Annie (Wiig). 

"The reason that movie worked is because it was about Kristen Wiig's character, who was a very confident person before the movie began who has this total crash because her bakery goes out of business and everything falls apart in her life," Feig told Collider. "She's desperately trying to hang onto this one thing, which is her friendship with Maya Rudolph's character, and that takes her through the fire." By the end of the film, Wiig's character has made it through, and the story wraps up conclusively, meaning there's not much narrative meat for "Bridesmaids 2."

Feig believes to revisit "Bridesmaids" without thinking a new story through would feel inauthentic and result in a letdown. If they were to make a sequel someday, Feig said, "It would have to be something that you can emotionally engage in again and not just go, 'It's Megan's crazy wedding in the Bahamas!' and all kinds of hijinks happen."

What could be explored in Bridesmaids 2?

As screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have politely refused to even entertain the idea of a sequel to "Bridesmaids," a follow-up is purely theoretical, and so there's little much beyond speculation in the way of what the plot would be or what characters the film would spotlight. 

However, there is one possible path to a "Bridesmaids" continuation — a spinoff movie. Judd Apatow produced "Bridesmaids," and on two other occasions, he's put together new films set in the worlds of his previous projects. There's the 2010 comedy "Get Him to the Greek," which centers on odious rock star Aldous Snow, as played by Russell Brand and introduced in 2008's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Then, Apatow directed "This Is 40," about the middle-aged characters first portrayed by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in 2007's "Knocked Up." In fact, way back in 2012, Apatow referenced these very movies when discussing a potential "Bridesmaids" sequel with reporters, saying, "It truly is one of those situations where, if there's an idea that makes everyone incredibly excited to do it, it could happen. ... I like sequels."

"Bridesmaids" offered so many memorable characters that one or two could feasibly take over a future installment. Portraying the pushy and inscrutable Megan in the first film made Melissa McCarthy an A-list movie star, so a Megan movie is an obvious possibility. Plus, Wendi McLendon-Covey offered an offhand suggestion to Us Weekly about what happened to her character, Rita, after the events of "Bridesmaids," which could serve as the basis for a follow-up. "I think maybe one of Rita's kids knocked up a teacher," she said. "And I think she's divorced and seeing that, you know, 'Oh, I had it so much better when I was married.'"

A Bridesmaids spinoff already kind of happened

While not a sequel to "Bridesmaids" and not officially tied to "Bridesmaids" in any way, a spiritual successor to the 2011 comedy opened to critical acclaim in 2021. "Bridesmaids" screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo teamed up on the page and on the screen for "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar" — a vacation movie, buddy comedy, and action spoof all rolled into one silly package. 

As for the plot, after losing their jobs at a furniture store, middle-aged, Midwestern, less-than-bright squares Barb (Mumolo) and Star (Wiig) head to the older folks-only resort community of Del Mar. In addition to several musical numbers, a talking crab that sounds like Morgan Freeman, and a love triangle, they run afoul of a supervillain (also Wiig) and her cohort (Jamie Dornan) who plan on destroying Del Mar to make up for a long-ago minor indignity.

Wiig and Mumolo actually wrote early versions of these characters into a draft of "Bridesmaids," as the mom of Maya Rudolph's character, Lillian, and her friend, who both love Costco. Those scenes didn't make it into the final movie, but they did set the stage for this wacky 2021 comedy. Speaking with the Associated Press, Mumolo explained, "Kristen said, 'One day we're going to write these characters into a movie, and we're going to write freely, and we're not going to overthink anything." In other words, those cut "Bridesmaids" characters evolved into the heroes of "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar," and if you want to fill that "Bridesmaids"-shaped hole in your heart, you should definitely check out this underrated gem.