Comedy legends Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have revealed who they would like to see cast in a sequel to their classic stoner film Up in Smoke. Long before there was Seth Rogen and James Franco or Jay and Silent Bob, there was Cheech and Chong. The classic counterculture comedy duo began their movie careers with 1978’s Up in Smoke, which went on to gross $44 million at the box office despite being derided by critics. In the years since the film’s release, it has gone on to become a classic of what would later become an entire genre, the stoner comedy.
Cheech and Chong’s subsequent films proved popular through the early ’80s, with their original run ending in 1985’s Get Out of My Room. The duo later returned for 2013’s Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie!, which adapted many of their classic bits for a new audience. Over the years there has been talk of a sequel to Up in Smoke, the movie that started it all, but thus far nothing has materialized.
As for that possible Up in Smoke sequel, Cheech and Chong themselves were asked about the idea during an appearance on The IMDb Show (appropriately released on 4/20). The comedy duo discussed who they would like to see step into the lead roles and they had some very interesting and slightly unpredictable casting choices. Both men agree that Kevin Hart would be a great choice for one of the leads. Then Chong chimed in that Dwayne Johnson should also appear in the film, which caused Cheech to quip, “Boy are you going to get some letters.”
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart of course have already shared the screen more than once, starring together in the smash hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and the action comedy Central Intelligence before that. Needless to say, Up in Smoke 2 would be a very different sort of project for the two actors. For his part, Hart has the comedic background to make sense in a stoner comedy, but his thing is more about being hyper than laid back. As for Johnson, stoner comedy feels like a genre that’s a little out of reach both in terms of his personality and the normal tone of his movies.
It’s frankly hard to imagine the family-friendly Johnson smoking pretend weed and acting stoned at this point in his career. Maybe if he really felt the need for a change of pace, he might consider taking Cheech and Chong up on their proposal. It might theoretically be funny to see Johnson try to play that brand of subversive comedy, but at the same time, his whole larger-than-life persona sort of runs counter to everything stoner comedy stands for. Johnson is all about going out and saving the world. A stoner would never have the energy to pull off that kind of activity.