CATEGORIES Movies
Dustin HoffmanWhat the fock?!

According to Entertainment Weekly, Dustin Hoffman, who played Ben Stiller's eccentric father Bernie Focker in 2004's 'Meet the Fockers,' may not be reprising his role in the upcoming 'Little Fockers.' Allegedly, there has been "strife between Hoffman and the studio over the size of the part, the scheduling of the days on set and other difficulties." Dustin HoffmanWhat the fock?!

According to Entertainment Weekly, Dustin Hoffman, who played Ben Stiller's eccentric father Bernie Focker in 2004's 'Meet the Fockers,' may not be reprising his role in the upcoming 'Little Fockers.' Allegedly, there has been "strife between Hoffman and the studio over the size of the part, the scheduling of the days on set and other difficulties."

With both Universal and Hoffman keeping mum on the situation so far, we can only speculate how the filmmakers would adjust to Hoffman's absence. Do they kill him off in a less-than-subtle nod to their differences a la Chef in 'South Park' ? (Doubtful.) Do they pull an Aunt Vivian in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' and just replace him wholesale and hope no one notices? (Even more doubtful.) Our guess: Roz Focker, Stiller's sex therapist mom played by Barbra Streisand (who's confirmed to return to the film), discusses her abrupt divorce and introduces Gaylord to his new stepdad.

Hoffman and Streisand's quirky (to say the least) relationship was arguably a big factor in 'Fockers'' $516 million worldwide gross, and losing his star power may hurt the film slightly -- but with Stiller, Streisand, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Jessica Alba and Owen Wilson all signed on to star, the whole would most likely be greater than the sum of its parts. Keitel, for one, has signed up to play a contractor employed by Stiller, but it wouldn't be crazy to swap out one legendary actor for another for the part of Stiller's father.

No word yet on whether Hoffman's absence will push back the scheduled July 2010 release date of 'Fockers,' directed by 'American Pie' vet Paul Weitz, which will introduce Gaylord and Pam Focker as parents of 5-year old twins.