Though this year’s breakout comedy hit Ride Along was almost entirely the Ice Cube and Kevin Hart show, Universal’s upcoming sequel, Ride Along 2, has been putting together a pretty terrific supporting cast over the past few weeks. First, we heard that 24: Live Another Day actor Benjamin Bratt had come aboard in an unspecified role. Next, Attack of the Show! host and geek goddess Olivia Munn joined the cast, taking on the role of a tough Miami homicide detective who becomes the object of Detective James Payton’s (Cube) affection. Now, we’ve learned that The Hangover and Community star Ken Jeong has hitched a ride on the comedy sequel.
Jeong will play “a cocky computer hacker who fancies himself a ladies man but is also important in solving the case that Cube and Hart are working on.” The part is described as similar to Joe Pesci’s scene-stealing third wheel in Lethal Weapon 2. Perhaps Jeong will be the one taking a ride along now that Ben Barber (Hart) has actually been through the police academy?
Regardless of how big the part turns out to be, Jeong is a terrific addition to the cast. Though he’s best known for his scene-stealing part as villain Leslie Chow in The Hangover trilogy, the actor has also amazed throughout five seasons of Community and earned our laughs as God in the admittedly scattershot Rapture-Palooza. His star is also definitely on the rise, seeing as Jeong is set to lead International Incident, a Steve Carell-produced political satire about five United Nations delegates who hit the road to track down one of their lost loves.
The sequel will shoot this summer. Tim Story is back in the director’s chair, while Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi are returning as screenwriters. Whether or not this follow-up will improve over the original remains to be seen, but the casting is certainly off to a strong start.
Ride Along 2 hits theaters on January 15th, 2016.