One Thing That Disappointed Andy Samberg About Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Andy Samberg modeled after Justin Bieber in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Andy Samberg’s Palm Springs may be a fan-favorite on Hulu right now, but some of his other comedies have not played out with quite the same level of success. One of his box office misfires in comedy would be none other than Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, the Universal Pictures film that was well-reviewed but ended up being a flop. Now, Andy Samberg has explained one thing that really disappointed him about Popstar.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping was a movie near and dear to Andy Samberg’s heart. Like Palm Springs, he produced it with his buddies Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, though they also directed and wrote Popstar. Basically, though, Samberg believes the marketing campaign for the 2016 movie ended up being a problem the movie just couldn't get over.

It was not necessarily our preference for [the marketing] to be so Bieber-driven and we really had no specific bone to pick with Bieber. We were really more interested in making something that was commenting on the pop machine and the music machine in general, and making crazy set pieces within that.

In a lot of ways, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping achieves what Andy Samberg says it was trying to do in a recent interview with Collider. The flick is a funny take on pop music, its personalities, and how the music is driven into the mainstream. It featured a slew of celebrity cameos including Akon, ASAP Rocky, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Snoop Dogg Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine, Simon Cowell and many, many more. Of course, you would have had to have seen the movie to know that. You can see how the marketing turned out with the full trailer below.

To be clear, though, Andy Samberg doesn’t hold a grudge against Universal Studios, the parent studio that put Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping into theaters. Overall it was a positive experience working on the movie and with the studio; however, it sounds like the Justin Bieber aspect really wasn’t what Samberg and co. were trying to achieve when making the movie and that’s not how they really wanted to market it either.

The studio was very supportive. I’m not trying to talk bad [about them]. But the marketing department really wanted to lean into the Bieber aspect of it, and we did not at any point feel like what we were making was a Bieber movie.

Although the movie wasn’t a financial success, it has amassed a fanbase nearly four years later and Andy Samberg has previously been open about Popstar having a similar trajectory to Hot Rod. It’s also a consistent suggestion to pair with the likes of Palm Springs thanks to being given a second life on streaming services. It’s currently available streaming as part of HBO Max.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.