The Motion Picture Academy‘s new, and wide-ranging, weekly series of short videos talks about filmmaking of many kinds. Already, shorts posted on the two-month-old YouTube channel feature notables such as Mike White, Seth Rogen and Dustin Lance Black, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Jurassic Park and a video portrait of inner-city filmmakers.
“It’s an opportunity to really further inspire people about filmmaking and viewing film,” said Josh Spector, the Academy’s Managing Director of Digital Media and Marketing. “We really look at movies from a broad spectrum. We’re not locked in, we’re not sponsored, there are no ads. That frees you from conventional wisdom about what videos can be. People refer to them more as short films or mini-docs.”
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The trailer for Sony‘s action comedy The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as stars of a celebrity tabloid show who are headed to their biggest interview yet, — with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, whom they plan to assassinate. The film is directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The screenplay is by Dan Sterling, from a story by Rogen & Goldberg & Dan Sterling. Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Weaver are the producers. Not sure what this film’s premise will do for the already chilly relationship between the U.S. and the Hermit Kingdom, but hey, the trailer looks entertaining. Take a look:
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.
Bart: Here’s a suggestion for Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane and James Franco that none will appreciate: Guys, you should think about taking a sabbatical. All of you have been working too hard, trying too hard, and you’ve become predictable. Why not take a place on the sidelines for a while and think about life? I know the whole concept of “the sidelines” worries you. They’re already occupied by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers; it’s much more fun being in the middle of the action. Even too much action.
Fleming: Wow, that’s a buckshot blast. Those three fall into different categories. Let’s take them one at a time, starting with Sandler. I loved his Saturday Night Live character creations, from Opera Man to Canteen Boy and miss the edge he carried into his early films. I wish Adam would stop pandering to the four quadrants and challenge himself to write something less predictable. Audiences are losing interest.
Bart: My problem with Sandler, MacFarlane and others is that “raunchier” doesn’t necessarily mean “funnier”. Scatalogical humor already has been pushed over the edge this summer and we are yet to see Melissa McCarthy’s new road movie, Tammy, or the next Cameron Diaz epic, Sex Tape. By the standards of the moment, the Diaz-Ben Stiller hair gel moment in There’s Something About Mary seems like a Disney picture. The R ratings for movies like Neighbors were saved only by some eleventh-hour manipulation in the cutting room — “frame-f*cking,” it’s called, and it’s a flourishing career. Read More »
Neighbors producers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen mentioned at the Produced By conference that they’re still taking a lot of meetings about a sequel to their hit summer comedy, which is on the verge of hitting $220 million worldwide, but it’s still undetermined whether they will move forward. In the meantime, they are trying to get the project Jazz Cops off the ground, a starring vehicle for Rogen and Kevin Hart, about two cops during the 1950s trying to infiltrate the jazz scene. A bulk of their conversation, along with fellow producing partner James Weaver who first started with Rogen as an assistant on Funny People, was devoted to the lessons they’ve learned while writing, directing and producing their comedies. After working on The Green Hornet, the trio learned — big budget isn’t everything. Too much red tape, too many parties to contend with. After enjoying the buffer from the studios on their Judd Apatow productions, i.e. Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, Weaver has been a welcome cog in their wheel, continually providing updates to the studios and agents as the cameras rolls. Read More »
Last night’s Saturday Night Live with host Seth Rogen and musical guest Ed Sheeran averaged a 3.9 household rating in the metered markets and a 2.1 in adults 18-49 in the markets with Local People Meters. That was down a tenth in each category from last week’s show, hosted by Anna Kendrick with musical guest Pharrell Williams. In households, it matched SNL‘s season low. In 18-49, it tied the second lowest result of the season.
Related: ‘SNL’: Guest Host Seth Rogen Ribs James Franco About Underage Girl Incident
Seth Rogen — aka “Bear Man” as nicknamed by former Saturday Night Live character Vinny Veducci (Bill Hader) — marked his third guest host appearance on the NBC sketch comedy show tonight. Rogen was only 23 years old when he first hosted, and apparently he was having so much fun, it was all a blur to him. Hence, Rogen decided to chronicle his recent week at SNL in a journal. One high point for Rogen entailed pranking James Franco by posing as a girl on Instagram. “I told him (James) I was way young. He seemed unfazed. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel,” quipped Rogen in reference to Franco’s recent incident with a 17 year-old Scottish girl. Toward the end of Rogen’s opening monologue, he got by with a little help from his friends including Zooey Deschanel, Taylor Swift and, of course, Franco. Take a look:
Anna Kendrick will make her first appearance as host of Saturday Night Live on April 5 and Seth Rogen will return for his third stint on April 12, NBC announced today. They will follow Louis C.K., who hosts the first of the three back-to-back shows on March 29. Oscar-nominated Kendrick (Up In The Air) will be joined by seven-time Grammy winner Pharrell Williams, who is making his first solo appearance on SNL as musical guest. Williams also received an Oscar nomination for his song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2. Kendrick will next be seen in the feature Happy Christmas slated for release later this summer. Rogen will be joined on the April 12th show by Grammy-nommed British phenom Ed Sheeran, who will be making his SNL musical guest debut. Rogen will next be seen in Neighbors, which hits theaters on May 9. Rogen last hosted the NBC late-night show in 2011.
EXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions’ Scott Rudin and Eli Bush and Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver have together set up a trio of feature collaborations. Two of the films are based on documentaries and will be made for Sony, where Rudin has his deal. All three will be produced by Rudin and Eli Bush along the the Point Grey trio.
Sony Pictures has just set 50/50 writer Will Reiser and that film’s director Jonathan Levine to craft a feature from Brooklyn Castle, based on the Katie Dellamaggiore-directed docu about the trials and tribulations of the junior unbeatable champion chess team at I.S. 318. That’s an inner-city junior high school where more than 65% of students come from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level and where budget cuts threaten to derail its chessboard dominance. The docu won the Audience Award at SXSW, and it was around the time that Rudin first acquired the remake rights. Rogen starred for Levine in the touching cancer scare drama/comedy 50/50, and he and Goldberg produced the film. Reiser’s repped by UTA and Thruline, Levine by CAA.
Rudin Productions and Point Grey have also set Console Wars at Sony, a film about the battle for video game dominance between Sega and Nintendo in the 1990s that Rogen and Goldberg … Read More »
The actors are reteaming with Jonathan Levine, their director on the cancer-themed 2011 pic 50/50. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen will star in an untitled Sony comedy about three childhood friends who get together again in NYC to renew their old tradition of going out on Christmas Eve. The role of the third friend from hasn’t been cast yet. Levine also wrote the pic, which is targeted to begin production in the summer.
After lengthy negotiations, AMC and Sony Pictures Television have closed a deal to develop Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s controversial 1990s comic book series Preacher as a drama series. The project will be written/executive produced by This Is the End writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) serving as executive producer/showrunner and Original Films’ Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon also executive producing. Despite speculation, there are no plans for Rogen to have an onscreen presence at this time. Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, demanding answers, and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire who seems to prefer a pint in the pub to the blood of the innocent. On his tail is an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers – a western lone gunman archetype whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Jesse. “This is a great piece of material for AMC, and we’re thrilled to begin working with the creative team behind it to make another iconic AMC series,” said the network’s EVP Joel Stillerman. AMC is looking to … Read More »
The latest trailer for the comedy starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne has dropped. Nick Stoller directs Neighbors (formerly known as Townies), about a couple forced to live next to a fraternity house after their baby is born. Efron plays the leader of the frat bros they face off against in a war for the neighborhood. The pic marks his second 2014 comedy following January’s That Awkward Moment after a recent run of indie dramas (The Paperboy, At Any Price, Parkland). Universal will release the pic May 9. Check out the trailer:
The hot spec script du jour is The Politician, a hard R-rated comedy by Matt Bass and Theodore Bressman. They are ex-assistants to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and their former bosses are attached to produce with Mark Gordon. I’m hearing that Paramount and Sony are battling it out right now and that the bidding is getting into the high six figures, with WME and Circle of Confusion’s Julian Rosenberg selling it. This spec could get close to seven figures; right now Paramount may have the edge. There is a timely concept here, given the recent publicity about the Toronto mayor getting caught in a crack smoking scandal. Here, the title character starts off in a raucous encounter with hookers and it gets worse from there in what is described to me as Bad Santa, if that character was a D.C. politician. Will tell you more when I know it.
BREAKING: Producers Scott Rudin and Eli Bush have teamed with Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver to produce a feature with the Mail Order Comedy troupe that generates the Comedy Central series Workaholics. The film, which is not set up at a studio, is a completely original idea and not a big-screen adaptation of their TV show as was reported. Workaholics cast members Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson will star and Holm is writing the script. Also producing is Isaac Horne, who manages the trio.
Sony and Annapurna Pictures are co-financing and producing Sausage Party, an R-rated animated film written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg & Kyle Hunter & Ariel Shaffir. Rogen and Goldberg wrote This Is The End, the end-of-the-world comedy that just passed $100 million at the domestic box office. The raunchy animated movie centers one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, the hero sausage and his new friends embark on a journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale. The story is from Rogen, Goldberg and Jonah Hill, and Hill will executive produce with Hunter, Shaffir and James Weaver. Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters Vs. Aliens) and Greg Tiernan will direct and Vernon is producing with Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, Rogen and Goldberg. Sony is releasing worldwide and eyeing a 2015 date.
FX has given a pilot greenlight to Bigfoot, an animated comedy series based on Graham Roumieu’s faux Bigfoot autobiography graphic novels In Me Own Words, Me Write Book, And I Not Dead. Written by Matt McKenna (American Dad) and executive produced by Seth Rogen, the FX Prods-produced project revolves around Bigfoot, everyone’s favorite crypto-zoological hominid, as a modern-day everyman who struggles with life’s philosophical quandaries as well as his own animalistic tendencies. “This will be the greatest show about an animated Bigfoot ever made,” Rogen said. Executive producing the pilot are McKenna; Point Grey Pictures’ Rogen and Evan Goldberg; Roumieu; Mosaic’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen; and Floyd County Prods’ Adam Reed and Matt Thompson. Animation remains a priority for FX, which has been looking to expand its offerings beyond hit Archer and has new animated series Chosen, exec produced by Danny McBride, launching on FXX. The pickup of Bigfoot brings the number of FX comedy pilots in production to seven, including The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad; Death Pact, starring Tracy Morgan; the untitled Andrew Gurland pilot, starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer; The Last Girlfriend On Earth from Broadway Video; How And Why from Charlie Kaufman; and You’re The Worst from Stephen Falk.
UPDATE: After setting psychological thriller The Loft for a summer 2014 debut, Universal’s also slotted its Zac Efron starrer Townies for a 2014 debut. The comedy stars Efron, Seth Rogen, and Rose Byrne in the tale of a young couple forced to move in with their newborn baby right next to a frat house. Nick Stoller (Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) directs. Townies will hit theaters May 9.
PREVIOUSLY: Universal says it will release psychological thriller The Loft on August 29, 2014. Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) and James Marsden (2 Guns) star in the story of five married guys who conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city – a place where they can carry out hidden affairs and indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft and each begins to suspect the other. So far The Loft has the August 29, 2014 date all to itself.
NEW YORK, August 2, 2013 – COMEDY CENTRAL announced today that Seth Rogen has been named Roast Master for the “COMEDY CENTRAL Roast of James Franco.” The event (#FrancoRoast) will tape at Culver Studios on August 18 and premiere on Labor Day, Monday, September 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Since first teaming up in 1999 on the cult-favorite television series “Freaks and Geeks,” Franco and Rogen have collaborated on some of today’s most outrageous and quotable movies including “This Is The End,” “Pineapple Express” and the forthcoming “The Interview.” The “COMEDY CENTRAL Roast Of James Franco” will be executive produced by Joel Gallen from Tenth Planet Productions, who also served as Executive Producer and Director of the COMEDY CENTRAL Roasts Of Rosanne Barr, Charlie Sheen, and Donald Trump, as well as the Emmy®-nominated “COMEDY CENTRAL Roast Of William Shatner.” Jonas Larsen is the Executive in Charge for the network.
Related: James Franco Says He’s Comedy Central’s Next Roasted Celebrity
THURSDAY NOON UPDATE: You wouldn’t think that imagining a bunch of stoned and drunk celebrities at James Franco’s house would amount to much as a film. Then again, it’s from the Superbad/Pineapple Express crew. So Sony/Columbia Pictures’ raunchy apocalyptic comedy This Is The End received a ‘B+’ CinemaScore from audiences and 82% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a #1 reception Wednesday night. With a dearth of both ‘R’-rated movies or well-received laughers in the marketplace, pic made $7.8M Wednesday from 3,055 theaters after a stronger-than-expected late shows around the country. That number includes $2.2M from Tuesday late and midnight screenings. Sony’s latest projections are for the film to take at least mid-$30sM or higher over the next 5 days - or about the same dollar figure as its $32M negative cost. This Is The End was marketed squarely at a young adult male audience and should counter-program the Man Of Steel juggernaut niftily this weekend. Written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jason Stone, and directed by Goldberg and Rogen in their directorial debuts, This Is the End is based on Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, a short film created by Rogen and Jay Baruchel in 2007. Initially called The Apocalypse, the new film’s name was changed but its roots were made clear during marketing: on this past April Fools’ Day, Sony released a trailer for Pineapple Express 2 which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Melissa McCarthy has signed on to voice the role of Watts in B.O.O (Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations), the DreamWorks Animation film that has been scheduled for June 5, 2015 release. B.O.O. is a super secret government agency dedicated to protecting humans from evil hauntings. Agents are themselves ghosts. Two new agents, Jackson Moss (voiced by Seth Rogen) and his oddball partner Watts (McCarthy) uncover a plot by the agency’s Most Wanted Haunter to destroy B.O.O. They must use every trick in their arsenal to defeat his powerful ghost army and save Earth from a ghostly fate. The film is based on an original idea by director Tony Leondis. The film is being produced by Maryann Garger (Astro Boy and Flushed Away) and written by Tom Wheeler (Puss In Boots). Life Of Pi’s Gil Netter is exec producer. McCarthy soon opens opposite Sandra Bullock in the Paul Feig-directed The Heat and has the Ted Melfi-directed St. Vincent de Van Nuys, and Tammy, which she wrote with husband Ben Falcone. She’s repped by CAA and The Schiff Company.