FILM: THIS IS THE END
CAST: JAMES FRANCO, JONAH HILL, SETH ROGEN, JAY BARUCHEL,MICHAEL CERA, DANNY MCBRIDE
DIRECTOR: SETH ROGEN and EVAN GOLDBERG
“What if you were stuck in a house with your friends as the world was ending outside?” says Seth Rogen, who, with his writing and directing partner Evan Goldberg, answers that question in the new comedy ‘This Is The End’.
“It was intriguing to us. We’ve made a lot of movies about two or three guys, but what about a whole group of friends? How do they interact with one another?” says Goldberg. So even as the pair approached writing and directing a wild, outrageous comedy about the world coming to an end, they never lost sight of the core idea – six buddies and the craziness that happens when they are stuck in a house together. “That’s what this movie is really about: friendship and group dynamics, how people deal with each other in extreme circumstances. But it’s also about growing up and figuring out how your old, childhood world fits in with your new, adult world.”
The film would also mark Rogen and Goldberg’s directorial debut, and they found a way to make the venture as comfortable as possible: they surrounded themselves with their own best friends. ‘In This Is The End’, six friends – who just happen to be James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson – are trapped in Franco’s house as the end of the world begins outside. And we’re not talking about any old California-slides-into-the-ocean earthquake… we’re talking the fire-and-brimstone Apocalypse – the real Biblical deal.
Yes, James Franco plays James Franco, Jonah Hill plays Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen plays Seth Rogen, and so on. But of course, they’re not really playing themselves. “People think they know everything about you based on the characters you play,” says Rogen. “So we thought it would be funny to play into that – to have these characters that behave in the way that everybody thinks is what we’re like off-screen. There are elements of our real selves, but we all twisted them or exaggerated them to make it funny.”
Playing yourself can be a challenge – even for an Academy Award® nominee, as Hill says, “I’ve never slipped out of character more than when I was playing myself.”
But it’s more than just a joke, says Rogen. It’s a way of acknowledging the elephant in the room. “Everybody knows that we’re friends and we’re always in movies together. It was almost weirder that the movie wouldn’t acknowledge that in some way,” says Rogen. “So we thought, OK, let’s acknowledge it, and then let’s move beyond it. We wanted the relationships to feel real. We thought that would be the element that grounded the movie if the dynamics between the characters were real and relatable. So even though the movie gets super-crazy – it’s the Apocalypse – there’s a simple idea at the centre that I hope is very believable. We never could have written this movie if we didn’t know these guys – and we definitely couldn’t have
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The best lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands.
But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? “It is a classic ticking clock type of suspense thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and really beautifully written, with great twists and turns,” says Jackman. “But it’s also truly heartbreaking in its consideration of what happens to the human spirit, the psyche, the soul, under that kind of strain.”