The Nice Guys | Sequel prospects were scuppered by Angry Birds, says Ryan Gosling

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Shane Black’s 2016 comedy thriller The Nice Guys didn’t perform well enough to qualify for a sequel, and its co-star Ryan Gosling says the culprit was Angry Birds.

Those surprised by Ryan Gosling’s Oscar-nominated comedy turn in last year’s Barbie almost certainly missed The Nice Guys – writer-director Shane Black’s drily funny thriller from 2016. Co-starring with Russell Crowe, Gosling played Holland March, the worst private detective ever according to his own daughter, played by Angourie Rice.

Despite its two stars and some upbeat reviews behind it, The Nice Guys failed to catch on in cinemas, only making a shade over its $50m budget in ticket sales.

Gosling is currently doing the media rounds for another comedy thriller – The Fall Guy, out in a couple of weeks – and the subject of The Nice Guys came up in an interview with Why didn’t it get a sequel, the outlet asked.

“So much of a sequel, I think, is decided by the opening weekend of a movie, and we opened up against Angry Birds,” Gosling said. “So Angry Birds just destroyed us. Angry Birds got a sequel.”

Full marks to Gosling on this front – his memory for opening dates is impeccable. The Angry Birds Movie, the first animated feature based on the game of the same name, opened in US cinemas on the 20th May 2016 – the exact same day as The Nice Guys. Where The Nice Guys made roughly $62m, The Angry Birds Movie made $352m.

Audiences, faced with the choice of a family-friendly comedy about birds with eyebrows or an R-rated neo-noir thriller, plumped for the latter.

Shane Black has said in the past that he tried to get some sort of follow-up off the ground, including a TV spin-off, but none of these ever happened. Russell Crowe also said he’d been talking about a sequel concept with Gosling in 2016, but his idea (“We pretend we’re Mexican detectives”) didn’t sound like one that would get a greenlight these days.

The Nice Guys therefore joins Shane Black’s other darkly funny comedy thriller, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as a standalone cult classic. If you haven’t seen The Nice Guys before, we’ll leave you with the clip below. Gosling really does have a talent for physical comedy.

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