Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg tried something different in their new film This Is The End: directing. The began as a joke video Rogen and Jay Baruchel made called Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse and has now developed into a full-fledged feature backed by Columbia Pictures. The project has changed a lot since Jay and Seth was made in 2007, and fans got a taste of what’s in store during a Saturday panel at WonderCon Anaheim.
“In some senses it’s really [different] in that there’s a large, emotional story about six friends,” Goldberg told Spinoff Online during an interview at WonderCon. “There is still an apocalypse, and Jay and Seth are still the main characters.” Rogen added, “It honestly kind of looks similar in a lot of ways. It’s definitely inspired by it but we built. Obviously when you’re going from a minute and a half to a hundred minutes you have to expand a little bit.”
In addition to central characters played by Rogen, Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, This Is The End includes an impressive list of cameos. It seems as though Rogen called up everyone he knows in Hollywood, as people like Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Jason Segel and Rihanna are in the movie.
“We’ve been rolling with Emma for like eight years,” Goldberg said. Rogen laughed, adding, “Exactly. She parties like crazy. No, we thought it would be fun to include a mix of people that you associate with us and people that you really don’t associate with us, honestly because when you go to these weird Hollywood parties sometimes there is someone random there.”
Goldberg gave the example that one year at Comic-Con International he ended up watching a movie in a hotel room with Method Man, so that they got such an array of actors involved in This Is The End isn’t much of a stretch. With Watson, Rogen said, “We’re honestly just fans of hers. We like Harry Potter, and we thought it would be fun to see her in our world. She can handle herself pretty handily in the apocalypse.”
It was recently announced that Rogen and Goldberg will team up yet again to direct the The Interview. Rogen is also planning to star in the film, and the duo hopes to have Franco will play its central character.
Rogen revealed where he got the inspiration for the movie, which follows a talk show host and his producer who get involved in a plot to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea. “It honestly came from, like, joke conversations I just heard over the years,” he said. “You hear, like, ‘Dan Rather interviewed Osama bin Laden.’ Like, why didn’t he kill him? He could have saved everyone a lot of problems. So the idea just kind of came from, ‘What if a journalist got an interview with one of these guys and actually tried to kill him.’ Then we thought, ‘What if he was kind of a dumb journalist?’ It’s like a Ryan Seacrest-type guy gets an interview.”
Goldberg made sure to add, “We like Ryan Seacrest. This guy’s a more hacky kind of a douchebag.”
Rogen couldn’t confirm that Franco will take the host role because they’re still trying to see if he can fit it in his schedule. “It’s hard because he’s so busy. We really hope it works out,” he said.
This Is The End opens June 12.