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Hangover 2 director defends axing Gibson's role

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New York (AIN): The Hangover director Todd Philips has praised Mel Gibson as an actor, but also justified the reason behind axing him from the sequel The Hangover 2. Entertainment tonight reported that Gibson was furious at producers of the sequel for firing him, as it was considered as his Hollywood comeback following a legal battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, who alleges he assaulted and threatened her.

Phillips said the decision to fire Gibson was the result of protests from the cast and crew. “He"s (Gibson) one of our finest actors and quite honestly, one of our finest directors. But 'The Hangover 2' is a family and as much as I loved the idea, a lot of people didn"t. I didn't want anything to come in between that family," the New York Post quoted Phillips as saying at the 14th Annual Hollywood Awards.

Liam Neeson has replaced Gibson in The Hangover 2 for a cameo as a tattoo artist.

Read more about: mel gibson, oksana grigorieva, the hangover, liam neeson, todd phillips
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