Recently, we have seen films like 2012, Melancholia, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and even Children of Men, to an extent, depict what it would be like to see the world come to an end. Just to round things out, I guess, we now have the version of that story in a movie that stars comic actors Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, and many more. WonderCon had a panel devoted to This Is The End, an apocalyptic comedy starring all of these guys as themselves, written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Read on to find out what went on at this hilarious panel. Now updated with new trailer.
Official Panel Description:
This Is The End — The Mayans predicted that the world was supposed to end last December, but we’re still here. So join Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson as they stop by to show the new trailer for This Is The End, which hits theaters June 14. The comedy This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.
The key thing to understand about this panel is that all of the actors in this movie play themselves. They may be playing exaggerated versions of themselves (Michael Cera for sure), but they are playing themselves, addressing each other as themselves, and making pointed jokes about the various movies that they have all starred in. That may seem a little ego-driven, but I have really been warming up to this idea. It helps that Rogen and Goldberg, who were responsible for writing Superbad and producing 50/50, have stated that the story they are telling within this wacky framework does have a lot of heart to it, as it concerns friendship and what to do when the stakes truly are raised. With that said, I am also aware that plenty of ridiculous amounts of comedy and improve will be going on throughout this flick.
To get into the panel, I need to describe the sequence of events that went down. First up, Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Danny McBride (HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Pineapple Express) arrived on stage, as expected. Next up was Seth Rogen, who arrived on stage wearing a full Wolverine costume. This was an easy bit of course, as the others were dressed regular and Rogen is “embarrassed” that he looks how he does. With that said, Co-writer/director Evan Goldberg was next up, dressed entirely in an S&M getup, which took the joke to a pretty funny level. More fun was the idea that now these two were sitting on stage next to the others, with the possibility of new audience members walking in late and wondering what the hell was going on.
The audience did get to see some footage from This Is The End. First was a green-band version of the trailer (I’ll have the red-band trailer posted below), which set the stakes well enough and included a surprise I previously was not aware of (hint: it’s a female co-star that you wouldn’t expect). The next piece of footage depicted the initial realization that the world is coming to an end, as we see many actors pop in for a cameo, only to be quickly killed in fairly brutal ways (Aziz Ansari loses an arm). The second clip gave a hint as to why the world was ending, as we see Jonah Hill possessed and tied up to a bed, with the others using The Exorcist as a guide to how to solve the problem. Both clips featured the type of humor you would expect from this crowd, with an added sinister edge to the proceedings.
As far as information learned from the panel goes, both Rogen and Goldberg were excited to talk about the film. They revealed that they have been working on the idea since 2006, where they made a short film that covered the same idea. It was only because the two earned more clout in Hollywood that they were finally able to make the film themselves. The story stemmed from the fact that Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel were real life best friends, with Rogen getting a new set of friends, as he got comfortable with Hollywood life. They did want to emphasize that they were all playing exaggerated versions of themselves, but also stated that feelings were hurt on set, as all the improvising led to a lot of digs at each other, based on real life choices they have made, even though it was all in good fun. Both stated that they were clear in saying that there were “no rules” so everyone should go as far as they need to. Craig Robinson ensured that while there was a script to get the characters from A to B, improvising was heavily utilized during filming.
Lastly, it should be noted that Rogen and Goldberg had small discussions with director Edgar Wright and actor Simon Pegg, who wrote their next film World’s End together. The reason is because both films (possibly) depict the end of the world, but they basically ensured each other that neither are similar to each other.
From what I have seen, this looks like a really funny movie. I like all of these actors, as they make me genuinely laugh, so I will be happy to check it out when it arrives in theaters.
This Is The End Hits Theaters Everywhere On June 14th
Check out the red-band trailer for this film below: