Many suspected that after “Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story,” if you were to get Michael Winterbottom to direct Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reading the phone book, it would almost certainly turn out to be rib-tickling stuff. The theory’s been put to the test this year with “The Trip,” which features the British comics playing themselves on a journey around England’s Lake District eating at a series of top restaurants: not exactly “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” as far as high concepts go, but it’s happily turned out to be one of the best comedies of the year, and something of an indie sleeper, with clips from the film going viral. And the good news is, there’s more on the way.
British Comedy Guide (via Dan’s Media Digest) was (like this writer) at the Latitude Festival in the U.K. over the weekend, where among the many pleasures was a BAFTA-sponsored Q&A, moderated by Richard Curtis, with Coogan, Brydon and producer Andrew Eaton, about the success of “The Trip” — which aired as an extended six-part TV series in the U.K.. Eaton revealed that a second series is currently being planned, which would involve Coogan and Brydon heading to Italy for another culinary tour.
We were in the room for the Q&A as well, and not much more was said on the subject unfortunately, but it’s good to know that another installment is on the way. It’s unclear what timeframe this will be in: Winterbottom is gearing up to direct Jack Black in the comedy “Bailout,” and has another collaboration with Coogan, “Paul Raymond’s Wonderful World Of Erotica,” in the works, but we imagine “The Trip” sequel will get squeezed in in between, considering how prolific the director is.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no guarantee that the sequel will end up on the big screen, but considering it must have been fairly cheap to re-edit, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same approach was taken. In the meantime, “The Trip” is still in some theaters in the U.S., and it’s one of the real cinematic pleasures of the summer.