You’ve read about the panel this past weekend at WonderCon, you’ve seen the fake Pineapple Express 2 trailer; and you’ve watched the most recent Red band spot. But now it’s time to get up close and personal with the two men behind This Is The End.
This past weekend I tripped down to the Anaheim Convention Center where I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the writers and directors of the new apocalyptic comedy due out this summer. The film marks the duos’ directorial debut after previously teaming up to write Superbad, Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet, and they’re working with one very out-there concept, having some of the biggest names in comedy come together to play themselves in a world taken over by demons and hellfire. Check out our conversation below, in which Rogen and Goldberg talk about the joy of killing off famous people, how directing the film changed their approach to the script, finding a relatable core within all the craziness, and the movie’s bizarre Harry Potter connection.
How much of the fun of this project was getting the opportunity to put your friends into an apocalyptic situation and then just kill them?
Seth Rogen: The most. That was a lot of fun. I mean we definitely wanted it to be funny for the audience, but that was also a big conversation we had. I mean, yeah, it’s funny to see famous people to get killed graphically and it’s even funnier when they’re themselves for some reason.
Evan Goldberg: It’s just fortunate that our friends merit a budget to make a movie because they’re actors [laughs].
Seth Rogen: Yeah, I know.
How gnarly does this movie get?
Evan Goldberg: Oh, it gets gnarly. I wouldn’t say Saw gnarly, but it’s pretty graphic.
This project, it started as Jay and Seth Vs. The Apocalypse, which is a really small kind of idea where you have these two guys trapped in a room. Was there ever a point where you guys were drafting that small version of the script or was it always this big ensemble comedy?
Evan Goldberg: We just made that for a student film project for Jason Stone who made the movie with us and then years later when we were doing better, we realized... we were just discussing what we could do and we kept coming back to the idea of actors playing themselves and we put in a whole bunch of different ideas over the years and then we realized the first idea was the right idea.
Seth Rogen: We had just done so many movies that were all about two guys that we wanted to make it about a group of guys, like a bigger group dynamic and it is definitely still hinged on two guys, because we’re not that good [laughs], but early on we felt like what if it was like six guys or something like that, seven guys and we thought that could give us more of a Real World-y vibe almost that we thought was really funny and then we realized that, yeah, it could also be kind of a bigger movie than just guys stuck in a house which is also a fun idea.