Diving Deep Behind-the-Scenes of Murder Mystery 2 with Director Jeremy Garelick
Mar 28, 2023
Hold on to your seats because Murder Mystery 2 is here, and it’s bigger, better, and funnier than ever before. Directed by Jeremy Garelick, this highly anticipated sequel reunites Garelick with Jennifer Aniston and marks his first time working with his long-time comedic hero Adam Sandler.
In this exclusive MovieWeb interview, we dive deep into the making of Murder Mystery 2 and learn what it was like for Garelick to work with two of the most beloved actors in Hollywood. From stunning island locations to the all-star cast, Garelick pulls back the curtain and shares his insights on the film’s intricate plot, what it was like to direct Aniston and Sandler, and how he was able to create a movie that’s both funny and suspenseful.
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Jeremy Garelick Shares All in Exclusive Interview with MovieWeb
Nicki Sun: Hi, this is Nicki Sun from MovieWeb, and I’m so excited to take a deep dive and solve the—solve everything that went on behind-the-scenes in Murder Mystery 2 with director Jeremy Garelick. How are you?
Jeremy Garelick: I love it. Thank you. I’m great, Nicki. It’s so nice to meet you.
Sun: Yeah, so nice to meet you too. I love talking to Directors especially—there’s so much that went on in this film. It seems like bigger action scenes, bigger everything. So I just wanted to get right into it. But first of all, what was it like working with Jennifer Aniston again and also working with your comedic hero, Adam Sandler?
Jeremy Garelick Chats Working with Jennifer Aniston for a Second Time
Garelick: To respond to the first thing that you mentioned, everything was bigger in this movie. We had to go big. Our locations are so, so massive. We had big action, um, and we have the two biggest stars in the world. The opportunity to work with Jennifer again after I think 10, 12 years, uh, we, we worked together on a film called The Break-Up, which I wrote and co-produced. Um, and she’s incredible. She’s an incredible talent. Beautiful. She’s so funny. Uh, and she’s a producer on this movie, so she was very hands-on in the development of the script, the decisions of locations, hiring of the crew—the editing. She was just incredible and she’s awesome. She’s amazing.
Sun: And then what was it like working with your comedic hero?
Jeremy Garelick Chats Working with His Comedic Hero Adam Sandler
Garelick: So they say never meet your heroes because they say that you’ll be disappointed. But, uh, I think Adam Sandler is the one person where that doesn’t apply. He is truly one of the greatest people on the planet, and I think that that’s why he’s done so well for so long because you could see his heart coming through the screen, and he’s an incredible guy. He is a huge mensch. Uh, he is so funny. But he’s also a perfectionist. He works really hard. He has thoughts on angles, on every line. Um, he’s an incredible producer, and he’s just great, and it was wonderful to get to spend some time and really get to know him, and he’s a great guy.
Related: Exclusive: Adam Sandler & Jennifer Aniston Interview Reveal Whodunnit if Cast of Friends Became Suspects in a Murder Mystery
Sun: And I know that Jen and also Adam came on as producers, and you’re the director. Can you give us an insight to what those conversations looked like or how it was directing them on certain scenes?
Garelick: Yeah, I mean, James Vanderbilt wrote a really fun script that I kind of came in as a director and I did a little bit of my thing to make it a little bit more me and more in my tone and just being able to get on the phone or on Zooms with both Adam and Jen early on, and have them laugh at the jokes that I was writing and have them say the lines that I wrote—that was just a dream. It was just incredible.
Script and Shot List with Murder Mystery 2 Director Jeremy Garelick
Sun: How does one approach a script like this? I mean, this film had it all, it was phenomenal. Bigger action, bigger stunts. You even had a lavish Bollywood-style production for the Maharajah’s Sangeet, and I just wanna know how the shot list looked and how you approached it.
Garelick: It was daunting. It was a massive endeavor. And when we looked at the screenplay, we knew we wanted to go bigger. Um, and we knew we were going to be in a beautiful, remote location. And then we knew we were going to be in Paris, and we chose the greatest locations possible. The Eiffel Tower, The Opera [House]…we were at [The Arc de Triomphe], which I’m gonna destroy every time I say that. The people from France are making fun of me. It was incredible. And we decided to look at every scene and say, okay, how can we take the scene and put it in a location that becomes part of the movie? And it becomes a character in the film. And, we really tried to make every single scene a beautiful picturesque location, make every scene as loud and funny, and big as possible. We have a character who is Indian, and we wanted to do a wedding, and why not do a giant, incredible Bollywood-style dance number? We just went big. Every opportunity, we went bigger.
Sun: Yeah, talking about locations cause the locations were spectacular. I mean, I’d love to be your assistant or even a 1st AD on this for your next one. Okay, Jeremy?
Garelick: We are hiring. I am hiring right now, by the way.
Related: Murder Mystery 2 Trailer Takes Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston to Paris For More Crime Capers
Locations for Murder Mystery 2 and Breaking The Guinness Book of World Records
Sun: Alright, cause the locations were stunning, but how do you choose the locations, first of all, and what challenges do you face shooting in multiple locations, and how do you prevent it from being a logistical nightmare shooting from different ends of the world?
Garelick: We knew we were gonna be in a remote location, so we knew we had to shoot somewhere that was absolutely beautiful. And we spent a lot of time scouting, and we went to several different islands. We were scouting and choosing our location at a time where COVID was really peaking. So we ended up in Hawaii on Oahu, because at the time, it was the safest for shooting during COVID and obviously Hawaii’s beautiful. And there’s just an incredible crew there. In terms of Hawaii and Paris, there was definitely a challenge there because there, if you look at a globe, one is here and one is the exact opposite side. So when we were in Hawaii and prepping, we would work all day and then when the Hawaii crew would shut down, the Paris crew would wake up, and we’d start Zooms with the Paris crew. So it was a challenge, for sure, to be shooting at the different sides of the world, 12 hours apart. When we got to Paris, we knew, we said, okay, what are the most iconic locations in Paris, and how do we do it differently than people have done it before? Shooting at the Eiffel Tower was just insane. Our stunt team was incredible and Jen’s stunt person, Kelly Phelan — she’s the first, I think she’s now in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first female, or first person, to repel off the Eiffel Tower, which is incredible. Getting to shoot at the Paris Opera House was, was incredible. And the giant Chagall ceiling. I mean, really, in Paris, there are no bad locations because everywhere you look, it’s picturesque and such great, cinematic history is also there, and I hope we become a part of that because we really took advantage of every location that we had the opportunity to show off in Paris.
Sun: How do you pull off getting to shoot at someplace like the Eiffel Tower, you know? I think that’s a huge testament to the cast, the producers that you have, you, and your artistic vision. So it’s just really cool to see it play out on the screen and make all those Guinness records.
Garelick: Um, yeah, it’s really cool, and it’s really challenging, and we had just an incredible group of producers who would make things happen regardless of how many times people said no. Our producers figured out a way of making these things happen, making it easy for me— which is a producer’s job, is just to make everything happen so that the actors can do their thing and the director can do his thing or her thing. And that’s what they did. And I’m incredibly grateful to our producers, and I’m incredibly grateful to the city of Paris for allowing us to have fun.
Sun: Was there a scene you directed that you were particularly proud of?
Garelick: Um, I’m really proud of the whole movie, but looking at some scenes that I’d never really had the opportunity—I never really had the chance to do some gigantic, action sequences like we did on the Eiffel Tower… that car chase scene was so fun to do—took a lot of preparation. The Bollywood dance was something I really enjoyed doing. The giant scenes were amazing, but also the small intimate scenes that had Adam and Jen making jokes and to me, that was a dream come true.
Jeremy Garelick Chats Next Ideal Location for Murder Mystery 3
Sun: Incredible. Well, I was talking to Jen and Adam about the location for Murder Mystery 3. What say you?
Garelick: I’m thinking Western Pennsylvania or Syracuse, New York. It’s between the two of those.
Sun: They said Greece, but you know, we’ll come to a compromise! But thank you, Jeremy Garelick. I enjoyed deep diving with you on Murder Mystery 2. I’m so excited for audiences to see this because it was a fantastic film. Just bigger in every way—Congratulations.
Garelick: Thank you so much. And it’s so nice to meet you, and I’m glad you like the film.
Murder Mystery 2 releases on Netflix on March 31st.
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