Sing 2 Trailer Breakdown: Garth Jennings Talks Beasts, Bono, And Adam Buxton’s Major Role

Sing 2

by John Nugent |
Updated on

2016’s Sing was far more fun than it had any right to be, and with an all-star cast, a stuffed-to-the-gills soundtrack, an ensemble of furry animated heroes and British directing hero Garth Jennings (Son Of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) at the helm, it was never going to be a one-hit wonder.

Sure enough, Sing 2 is now gearing up, and with the launch of a shiny new trailer (which features flying pigs, dancing elephants, and a lion who sounds suspiciously like an Irish rock star of note) Jennings spoke to Empire to help break it down in detail.

U2 songs!

Sing 2

The trailer opens with returning porcupine punk-rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson) singing ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, the song that runs throughout the trailer. “There are actually four U2 songs in the film,” says Jennings, “including a new one. And they all have real importance in terms of the story. They're not just in there like a needle drop out — they're baked into the DNA of what's going on throughout the film.” Befitting the tone of that opening song, Jennings promises the experience to be “unashamedly joyful” but also “ridiculously emotional. My mum is not going to survive this film.”

Actual Bono!

Sing 2

As well as providing music, Bono himself will be in the film, voicing a legendary rock star lion named Clay Calloway; in the trailer, he’s seen playing the opening riff of the song. “I can’t imagine anyone more generous-spirited,” says Jennings of working with the rock star. Lions are tricky to animate — “as far as the rigging and hair effects go, it's quite a lot of work” — but one element proved too much for the filmmakers: Bono’s character will not be wearing the famous Bono glasses. “We did try them out in early designs,” says Jennings. “The trouble is, they look good on Bono, but they look weird on a lion. A lion has a massive head. For some reason it just looks ridiculous.”

A big Vegas show!

Sing 2

Matthew McConaughey reprises his role as koala Buster Moon, the proprietor of the Moon Theatre from the first film who now “has his sights set on the big leagues”, says Jennings. When a talent scout comes to visit, Buster decides to mount a massive stage show in a big Vegas-like city. “I mean, the first time, they just had to play the piano or dance on stage,” says Jennings. “In this one, it's like, no, you've got to have fire. Let’s get Gunter on a wire. Let’s have spaceships.” Inspired by Vegas stalwarts like Cirque Du Soleil, the show “gets really big and starts to spin out of control in terms of scale.”

An Adam Buxton lead role!

Sing 2

Jennings is known for his collaborations with his friend Adam Buxton, having made regular appearances on Buxton’s podcast and 6 Music radio show. The first Sing saw Buxton cameo as a gorilla — will the sequel see a similar cameo? “You won’t see a cameo from Adam Buxton,” reveals Jennings. “You’ll see a lead part. Adam Buxton has been elevated to star status.” The actor and podcaster plays Klaus Kingclobber, a “sadistic proboscis monkey choreographer” who trains Johnny the gorilla, voiced by Taron Egerton. “I still don't think Adam fully believes it,” Jennings says. “He’s like, ‘I’m sure you’re going to replace me with, like, Zach Galifianakis or whatever’.”

Elephants doing Dirty Dancing lifts!

Sing 2

In Sing 2, nobody puts baby in a corner — or rather, nobody puts an enormous elephant in the corner, as this Dirty Dancing-esque lift demonstrates. “That was one of the hardest shots in the movie to do, weirdly enough,” recalls Jennings. “Animating took three months. All the costumes were designed by the fashion designers Rodarte. We had to learn how to put it together and so that the layers would interact in the right way... Suddenly it's like, ‘Oh my god’. Months and months just trying to get it to flow right.”

More songs!

Sing 2

For a film called Sing, expect singing. The first film featured over 60 songs on its soundtrack, and the sequel will be similarly packed, with Pharell Williams and Halsey among the guest stars joining U2. “There's a lot,” says Jennings. “But they're treated in more substantial musical set piece kind of ways. I mean, we open with a big four minute number.” Though there is no repeat of wild scat singer Shooby Taylor from the first film (“I think lightning can only strike once there”) Jennings promises “some bizarre music choices in there along with big heavy-hitting hits. It's like doing a compilation for your friend.”

Sing 2 comes to UK cinemas on 28 January 2022.

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