Reunions are always filled with familiar faces, and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later won’t be any different. But when the gang returns to Camp Firewood for their reunion, one particular member of the original cast will be missing. So why isn’t Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later? The actor won't be making it to this particular get-together, but his character will.
Oddly enough, it is Cooper’s character, Ben, who originally suggests in the 2001 movie that the gang reunite at the camp in 10 years. Ben would never miss something like that, but in the new Netflix series, he's played by Adam Scott.
According to Entertainment Weekly, scheduling issues prevented Bradley Cooper from returning as Ben to Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. At the time the show was filming, Cooper was directing and starring in a new adaptation of A Star is Born, which will also feature Lady Gaga.
Since Ben is such a memorable character from the original film, the creators needed to address this actor change in a very WHAS way. Ben apparently got that deviated septum fixed, but the surgery made his face look more like Scott's than Cooper's. The hilarious clip below features not only the joke, but a look at Parks and Recreation co-stars Scott and Amy Poehler (Susie) together again.
The same Entertainment Weekly article said that Cooper wasn't available for comment, but according to creator and director David Wain, Cooper found the change funny. Wain told EW that Scott felt like the right replacement for Ben. Without even knowing who he was going to play, Scott said he was immediately game for a role in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. When the specifics were explained to him, Scott said that he remembers thinking, "Well, that’s insane, but without question I will see what I can do. Sounds fun." The concept was just a bonus, however. "I would’ve come on and just stood in the background," Scott added.
Or course, Ben is not a background role. As Susie's drama co-counselor, Cooper's character not only helped make the end-of-summer talent show happen, he also helped McKinley (Michael Ian Black) learn some new things about his sexuality. It seems from the trailers that, 10 years after the movie and First Day of Camp, McKinley and Ben are going strong — despite the drastic change in Ben's appearance. They even have a baby.
Although Bradley Cooper wasn't available for this camp reunion, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later has enough returning stars and cameos to keep the party going.