Universal Pictures has announced via Deadline that a sequel to Half Baked is not only happening but has already completed filming. Half Baked 2 recently wrapped production in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with Universal 1440 Entertainment producing (primarily responsible for most of Universal's direct-to-video feature films). The film is also confirmed to bring back at least two original stars with Rachel True returning as Mary Jane and comedian Harland Williams returning as Kenny Davis. Original stars Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer are not confirmed to appear, and likely will not be in the sequel.
"We are thrilled to announce the next chapter in Half Baked, with new characters and a hilarious story that is sure to satisfy followers of the original film while attracting a whole new generation of fans," said Glenn Ross, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Universal 1440 Entertainment. "The sequel features a talented young cast alongside Rachel True reprising her role as the fan-favorite 'Mary Jane.' We can't wait to show audiences where the story goes from here."
The Maze Runner star Dexter Darden will star in the film, appearing alongside Moses Storm (Everything's Trash), Ramona Young (Never Have I Ever), Ash Santos (True Story), Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), and Anchorman star David Koechner. Frankie Muniz and comedian Jeff Ross will also make "special appearances." Michael Tiddes directs from a script by Justin Hires.
The film will be a legacy sequel of sorts with Darden playing the son of Dave Chappelle's Thurgood Jenkins. In the movie, Thurgood Jenkins' son JR and his best friends Miles (Storm) and Cori (Young) as they search for the money to bury their other best friend Bruce (Courtney), who died from smoking the most powerful joint in the world.
Despite most of Universal 1440 Entertainment's sequels being relegated to straight-to-video releases, many of their films premiere on Netflix or another streaming service at the same time. Recent examples like Blade of the 47 Ronin, a sequel to the Keanu Reeves movie, and Rob Zombie's reboot of The Munsters, both were release in stores on blu-ray and DVD while also premiering on Netflix at the same time. 1440's features are largely made to capitalize on movies that Universal owns the rights to but which they're not exactly interested in making huge theatrical releases for. By lowering the budgets and releasing direct to stores the margin for success is lower, sometimes however the releases are successful enough to push the franchise back to bigger places, like Chucky.