How 'Neighbors 2' Became a Feminist Comedy

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

The testosterone-fueled 2014 comedy Neighbors featured all the excess and belligerence you’d expect from an R-rated comedy about a wild fraternity making life hell for the couple next door: hazing, mushroom trips, erection party tricks, a homemade dildo racket, etc.

The upcoming sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising not only flips from the perspective of its hard-partying college kids from male to female, it calls out the sexism of fraternities and brings to light actual Panhellenic rules that bar sororities from hosting parties like their male counterparts. In crafting what will inevitably be one of the summer movie season’s biggest comedies, director Nicholas Stoller and company may have accidentally made an issues film.

Related: ‘Neighbors 2’ Director Nicholas Stoller on Finding Inspiration in 'Toy Story 2’

“When we started it was like, 'Oh, a sorority should move in, that just seems funny,” Stoller told Yahoo Movies (watch above). “And then as we worked on it, we found out about this crazy rule that they’re not allowed to throw parties. And then we were like, 'Well, we kind of have to make a feminist movie… That’s what the story is organically leading us towards.”

The cast was onboard. “We mostly wanted to make a really funny movie, and at times we found out that if we injected some sort of social consciousness into it, it actually made it funnier,” said Seth Rogen, who returns as Mack, one half of the couple (along with Rose Byrne’s Kelly) with the world’s worst real-estate luck. Rogen also co-wrote the script with Stoller, Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O'Brien, and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg.

Related: 'Neighbors 2’ Director Nicholas Stoller Explains Surprising Twist for Dave Franco’s Character (SPOILERS)

Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), whose Shelby spearheads the formation of the rule-breaking Kappa Nu sorority, wouldn’t have had it any other way. “My biggest thing was, 'Look, that’s a cool idea, but I don’t want to do it unless it has a reason,’” she told us. “I’m not gonna go make a movie about a bunch of young girls being pretty and flirty and cute and wearing our little pink hats and being girls.”

But don’t worry, we assure you Neighbors 2’s social messages are seamlessly threaded into a film that’s equally as outrageous and raunchy as its predecessor. These girls aren’t gonna stand for misogynistic frat bros, but they’re gonna fight for their right to party.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opens May 20. Watch the trailer: