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While most of the characters in Rogen and Goldberg’s This Is The End find a way to get raptured and taken off to heaven, that was not the fate that wound up being orchestrated for James Franco. Instead, a plan to "sacrifice" himself in the third act of the movie goes horribly awry, and he winds up getting eaten by Danny McBride and his team of cannibals. It’s hysterical to see unfold watching the film, but apparently James Franco has carried a bit of a chip on his shoulder about it ever since he did the movie.
Last December – approximately six months after the release of This Is The End - I had the opportunity to travel to the set of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new film, The Interview, and while sitting down to interview Franco, Rogen and Goldberg it was revealed that the former has not only not forgiven his friends for killing him off, but also constantly mentions it. The subject came up while Franco was discussing the personality of his character, David Skylark, in the new film. Describing his latest on-screen personality as a "suit-wearing dude who is very much about his appearance," the actor said that the way Skylark was scripted was similar to the way he was originally written into This Is The End. He then added that that he got the role in The Interview because Rogen and Goldberg "probably felt guilty" about murdering him in their last movie – which got an instantaneous reaction from the two directors.
"He thinks we made a terrible mistake," Goldberg said.
"He’s never gotten over that," Rogen added, laughing heartily. "He literally brought it up five minutes ago."
Naturally, this is as un-serious a grudge as you’ll ever find in Hollywood. After all, Franco and Rogen came up together in the industry, first co-starring together in the short-lived Freaks and Geeks before appearing alongside each other in big features like Pineapple Express and This Is The End. Franco may be kind of upset that he didn’t wind up going to heaven in Rogen and Golberg’s directorial debut, but don’t expect it to derail years of successful collaboration.
James Franco and Seth Rogen will next be appearing with each other in The Interview, which will be in theaters on December 25th. If that’s just too long a wait for you, I would recommend reading my full set visit report here and then follow that up by going to the second page of this article to check out the movie’s hysterical red band trailer.