Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug have done what most men only blow smoke about at family BBQs–take a road trip to Las Vegas, win a bunch of money, then cause millions of dollars worth of damage. And then, somehow, end up in Bangkok. The plot of The Hangover and The Hangover: Part II are uncomfortably similar. The first installment came at a time when many of us thought blockbuster comedies were fading, and then it was what everybody was quoting for a really long time. But the sequel left a lot to be desired. A couple of the popular complaints were that it was “routine” and “tired.” Personally, I thought it was (mostly) hilarious and outrageous–what more can you ask for?

Craig Mazin (Scary Movie 3, The Hangover: Part II) will return to write, and Todd Phillips will return to direct The Hangover: Part III. According to Mazin and Zach Galifianakis (Alan), the third and likely final Hangover film will feature Phil, Stu, and Doug breaking out Alan from a mental institution. Right now, though, it’s unclear to what level that storyline will be used, because several sources are reporting that filming will take place in Tijuana, Mexico. And additional reports state that filming will begin in Summer 2012 in Las Vegas. It’s unlikely Mazin would limit his screenplay, which should have several different principle locations, to a mental institution for much of the film. In all likelihood, most of the film will take place in Tijuana. It will provide a refreshing contrast to the loud and busy city settings of Las Vegas and Bangkok. And of course, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha will also be returning–with, perhaps, sky-high salaries.

When Craig Mazin was hired last year, he hinted at the possibility of a very dark ending to The Hangover: Part III. Mazin said a year ago: “I think the third movie ends with Doug staring at a row of crosses in a graveyard. It’s everyone – his wife, his family is dead, everybody from the first movie is dead. Somebody shows up and tells him his dog is dead.”

There are a number of reasons why this probably won’t be the franchise’s ending. First, why on earth would the writer of the film disclose such an enormous spoiler? Second, audiences would undoubtedly be disappointed in such a depressing ending. For a comedy, that’s not funny at all. The studio has scheduled a release date of May 24, 2013, again aiming for a Memorial Day opening weekend.

What do you think of the possible plot details? Will the third Hangover film be better than the second one, or even the first? Comment below! And please follow @ScreenInvasion and @MattBenincasa on Twitter!