Director Nicholas Stoller said a reporter's inquiry prompted his decision to have the character of Pete Regazolli (Dave Franco) come out as gay in "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising."
Stoller told Yahoo! News that at a press junket for 2014's "Neighbors," the reporter, whom he did not name, asked him why he's never included a gay character in any of his films, which include "Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and "The Five-Year Engagement."
“I was like, 'I don’t know why. I literally don’t know. I have no good answer for that,’” he said. “So this seemed like an organic way to have that happen.”
The idea was supported by the rest of the creative team, too. The original "Neighbors," Stoller said, played up the "homoerotic tension" between Pete and Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), so it was "kind of all of us coming to the same conclusion" when the film's co-writer Evan Goldberg suggested making Franco's character a gay man.
Although Efron has long been a favorite in the LGBT community, the team never considered making his character, Teddy, gay.
“A lot of Zac’s motivations in the first movie, especially with his girlfriend and stuff, seemed pretty straight," Stoller said. "It felt like it might seem like a stunt if we made him gay. But it seemed to just work with Dave.”
Much like his older brother, James, Franco has never shied away from gay themes, teasing fans with homoerotic "Funny or Die” videos, including one in which he told "Superbad" actor Chris Mintz-Plasse that he was going to "eat his a**hole."
Franco says he hopes his gay turn in "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" will be "very memorable."
"Of course I was excited to try something new with the character while still maintaining his essence," the actor told Yahoo! News.
If scenes like this are any indication, "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" will offer plenty of beefcake for everyone. Bring it on!