Doug Benson Wants No Part of a Super High Me Sequel (But Check Out the Trailer)

If you have not seen Super High Me, chances are you've at least heard of the 2008 documentary in which 420-friendly comedian Doug Benson — even then a “Stoner of the Year,” according to High Times — was stoned for 30 days straight, a la Morgan Spurlock.  

Spoiler alert: Benson did not die, go crazy, or lose his job and home. In fact, nothing much of anything happened, which may go a ways toward explaining the film's tepid reviews.

Things may have been different had the film adhered to its original concept — a reality TV series to be sold to Netflix, the project's initial big backer and distributor. (Hard to imagine now that the entertainment powerhouse behind House of Cards had a stoner's whimsy as one of its first projects.) Things might also have been different had Benson pulled out of the project, as apparently he threatened to do, according to a theatrical trailer for a possible sequel.

Speaking of that sequel, Benson also wants nothing to do with that — to the extent that he's filed suit in federal court to bar the release of a Super High Me Redux, or the public viewing of any additional footage shot during the original 2007 filming.

Now is not the time to pre-order a Super High Me special edition DVD. But by all means, view the trailer for yourself, after the jump. 

[jump] Benson filed suit against Alex Campbell and D.J. Paul, the producers of Super High Me and his former business partners, in federal court in August. A judge moved the suit to state court, where the two parties are trading motions. Benson says that extra footage can't be released without his consent and the consent of a company the trio created together for the original film; Campbell and Paul say the footage is theirs and can be used to make a “documentary about a documentary” without Benson's involvement. 

But why does Doug hate this movie? According to court documents filed in the suit, releasing another film — or any footage at all — would do immense damage to Benson's carefully cultivated reputation and “alienate” his fans. Let's peek at the trailer and see if there's a clue as to why.

There are a few revelations here. First, Netflix wanted Super High Me to be a six-episode reality show for a time. There's Netflix chief of content Ted Sarandos on screen talking about the project — and then the project participants having a tough time, largely because they were unsure if they were making a film or a reality show.

Then there's Benson trying to drop out. At least the way the trailer is cut, this suggests that Benson wasn't so much a willing participant in what became a landmark career moment for him. It also suggests that he wasn't so much interested in medical marijuana as a social movement at all, just a vehicle for his comedy.  

It's unclear what Campbell and Paul plan to do and how long the lawsuit will take to work out. But this may go a ways towards explaining why, at least on Benson's website and his Twitter bio, there's plenty mention of his many projects, but not a word about Super High Me.

Guess we at least know that Benson won't be sponsoring any of the legalization initiatives later this year — though we'd surely pay to see Sean Parker on Getting Doug With High.

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