Exclusive Trailer - Hotel Transylvania 2
2012's "Hotel Transylvania" was the monster mash that turned into a graveyard smash, bringing in nearly $400 million worldwide on a relatively small (for an animated feature, anyway) budget. Thanks to director Genndy Tartakovsky, the film emphasized physical humor and the innate charm of its starry cast (which included Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi) over an overtly structured, cloying format. Audiences and animation fans responded wholeheartedly (a remarkable feat, especially considering how many horror-themed animated films were released that year), and, later this year, fans of the franchise will be able to check into "Hotel Transylvania 2." Seeing as we were counted amongst the fans of the first film, we couldn't be more thrilled to bring you exclusive images and a new trailer for the film, along with an interview with Tartakovsky himself.

The adorable trailer starts with the monster squad -- Count Dracula (Sandler), The Invisible Man (Spade), Frankenstein's Monster (James) and the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key, taking over from Cee-Lo Green), as they climb an impossible tower. Once they get to the top of the tower, Dracula promptly throws his young grandchild from the top of the structure -- a half-human child that he assumes will probably turn into a bat before they hit the ground. Only... That doesn't exactly happen.

It's a wonderful little teaser that puts you immediately back into the "Hotel Transylvania" world -- full of things that go bump in the night (even if they're falling down the stairs, or in the case of James's monster, running through some cabins on fire).

We also got to chat with Tartakovsky, who said he returned to the franchise after delays on a planned "Popeye" film left it open for him to work exclusively on this new movie.

Moviefone: We see Dracula throwing a child off of a tower -- is that the half-human child of Johnny (Samberg) and Mavis (Gomez)?

Genndy Tartakovsky: That's right. Dracula is a grandfather and his name is Dennis, and Dennis isn't showing any signs of becoming a monster, so Drac takes it upon himself to get the fangs out of him, as we say in the movie. One of the things is teaching him how to fly. It's the old metaphor of throwing somebody into a lake to learn how to swim. So he throws him off of this huge tower to see if he grows wings and becomes a bat.

And Mel Brooks plays Dracula's father, right? Can you talk about bringing him into the fold?

It's been pretty amazing. For me, I think a big part of my humor is inspired by all of the movies that he's done. So it's a big part of my makeup. He's still super sharp, super funny, very witty. Every time we record him, I sweat the whole session because some people are difficult to direct because they're so established. It's hard to tell them what to do. And he feels it from me so he eggs me on through the process, which is great of course. When he enters the movie, it gets into the next gear.

What can you say about Brooks's character?

He's an old-school vampire. He has not assimilated at all with the humans. He doesn't know Dracula runs the hotel. He and Dracula have parted ways. So where we pick it up in the movie, Dracula really needs his help because he's the authority on vampires. Drac's got to keep it all a big secret.

Another great image from the trailer is what looks like a monster sleepaway camp.

It's a vampire camp. It's like an East Coast summer camp, but it's specifically for vampires. It's where Dracula was, too. And I think now that the humans have infested and melded together with the monsters, everybody is coexisting happily, the vampire camp is not what Dracula remembered it to be. It's very safe and very PC, and in the full-length movie there's this joke where they say, "Yeah we're going to teach them how to fly." And it's a little one of those Playskool one-foot-tall towers that the kids jump off with the safety harness with helmets and safety gear. Everything has become much more humanized and safe.

Are there any other new monsters you're excited to be bringing out?

Well Blob is a big part of the movie; he's a part of the gang. He's pretty funny.

The first film had such a great emphasis on physical comedy. Are there any new gags that you're excited about?

I think one of the things is seeing all of the monsters, who we haven't seen be monsters, so they're supposed to inspire Dennis to become a monster. So we see them fail in their attempts. And those are some of my favorite parts of the movie -- them attempting to be monsters again, like seeing Steve Buscemi as the werewolf attempting to growl and howl at the moon. And, on the opposite of physical comedy, we have Johnny's parents come out, who we play much more subtle, so they're great contrast to our monsters.

Have you announced who will be playing those characters?

Not yet. But I think everybody will be very happy.

What's going on with "Popeye"? I saw the amazing proof-of-concept stuff you put online last year. Is that going to be your next project? Or are we going to be talking about "Hotel Transylvania 3" in two years?

[Laughs] We definitely won't be talking about "Hotel 3," with me at least. "Popeye," at least, we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don't know if they want to make the "Popeye" that I want to make. So they've got to make a decision. Right now, I'm off that project and moving on to the other one that we soft-announced, which is "Can You Imagine?" which is an original idea of my own and a very personal story. It was hard to let "Popeye" go, but that's the business.Hotel Transylvania 2 Interview
categories Interviews, Movies