Vacation Friends is an outrageous, R-rated comedy about a pair of couples who forge a tequila-fuelled friendship at a holiday resort in Mexico. If you think that sounds like the perfect escape from all the current misery, you’re not alone. When the film premiered on Hulu at the tail end of last month, it pulled in the biggest opening weekend audience in the history of the streaming service. Soon afterwards, Hulu announced that it’s already given the green light to a sequel: Honeymoon Friends. And just like that, a franchise is born.
It may be a runaway hit now, but the raucous comedy’s journey to the screen has been far from smooth sailing. Vacation Friends was first announced back in 2014, with then-real-life-couple Chris Pratt and Anna Faris set to star as a pair of hedonists wreaking havoc on another couple’s time in the sun. They’d left the project by 2016 when Clay Tarver, a former writer and showrunner on sitcom Silicon Valley, was brought in to do rewrites on the script while a new cast was assembled. “There was a minute where it was going to be made with Ice Cube and Marky Mark Wahlberg,” recalls Tarver, speaking over video call from his home in Los Angeles. “Then that fell apart, too.”