Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, and Ben Stiller recently finished filming in Washington DC. Robert over at Film School Rejects caught up with Stiller at the press junket for Tropic Thunder and got some updates from him about what we can expect. Despite my lack of interest in the original, the expanded scope of this sequel has actually captured my attention. In Night at the Museum 2, Stiller returns as Security Guard Larry Daley, but this time he’s transferred to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and encounters much “bigger and better” troubles.

In addition to Ben Stiller, most of the original cast is also returning, including Steve Coogan (Octavius), Owen Wilson (Jedediah), Robin Williams (Theodore Roosevelt), Dick Van Dyke (Cecil) and Ricky Gervais (Dr. McPhee). The reason why the scope excites me is that the Smithsonian has so many wonderful artifacts and exhibits that there is so much that could potentially come to life and mess with Stiller, not just an annoying selection of critters from the first movie. Stiller expands upon this with an enthusiastic update:

“We have a much broader palette, because it takes place at the Smithsonian, so there’s a bunch of different museums we get in and out of like the Air and Space Museum and the art galleries, we go into paintings and stuff. And then there’s just this incredible ensemble cast … we also have new people like Christopher Guest, and Hank Azaria, Amy Adams. So it’s really been fun because it’s a lot less lonely than the first one.”

According to IMDb, Christopher Guest will play Ivan the Terrible, Hank Azaria will play Kah Mun Rah, Amy Adams will play Amelia Earhart (wait, isn’t that Hilary Swank’s job?), and even Bill Hader will join as General George Custer. Stiller also tells FSR that they’ll be using more CGI this time around to in order to achieve goals like “going in and out of paintings and photographs and having statues like The Thinker and The Lincoln Memorial come to life.” If that list of new additions to Night at the Museum 2 doesn’t leave you excited, then I don’t know what else we can mention to cause you to keep your eye on this sequel. I’m still not sure if it will be better than the original, but for now we’ll hope for the best.

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