They swore the previous sequel was the end. So screenwriter Adam Herz had no reason to be confident about the cast list when he began working on the second ''American Pie'' sequel. ''Universal said, 'Write the movie for whomever you want in it and then we'll worry,''' says Herz. ''[But] there was a sub-agenda, which was, 'We may not be able to get the actors we need, in which case approach the script as a stand-alone movie...a wedding comedy about two young people and some asshole who wants to come to the wedding.''
Luckily, Herz didn't have to resort to the Z list. Among the returning cast members are Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan, as soon-to-be wed Jim and Michelle; Seann William Scott, as lunkhead Stifler who's throwing the big bachelor party; Eddie Kaye Thomas, as tightwad Finch who vies with Stifler for the affections of Michelle's sister, the maid of honor (January Jones); and Eugene Levy, as Jim's concerned father.
''My agent said, 'I know you're not going to do it, but just read it,''' Scott recalls. ''I read it and I was so angry that a lot of the funniest lines were in the third. I was like, 'Why wasn't this in the second?''' After some thought, Scott ultimately agreed to reprise his role, in exchange for an opportunity to set up a production company at Universal. ''I thought, I haven't done a comedy in, like, a year,'' says the actor, who in the interim filmed the martial-arts flick ''Bulletproof Monk'' and this fall's as-yet-untitled action-thriller costarring The Rock and Christopher Walken. ''If I was going to go back and do a comedy, why not go back to the part that started it all off for me?''
Not to mention the movie that started many a fat bank account: The first two ''American Pies'' ate up close to a combined $250 million at domestic box offices. Still, Universal is entrusting this sequel to the relatively untested music-video director veteran Jesse Dylan (he's a son of Bob), whose only previous feature was the Method Man-Redman stoner comedy ''How High.'' The studio must be hoping (insert groan here) that the pie's the limit.