Seth Rogen talks Observe and Report, The Green Hornet, Fanboys, Monsters vs. Aliens, Funny People and Ghostbusters 3!

     October 19, 2008

Earlier today I attended the press junket for Zack and Miri Make a Porno. While I’ll have a lot more from the junket in the coming days, I wanted to post what Seth Rogen said about his future projects immediately.

One of the reasons is…he spoke about so much stuff!

Not only did we get updates on Observe and Report, The Green Hornet, Fanboys, Funny People, Monsters vs. Aliens…we even got him to talk about the rumors of his possible involvement in Ghostbusters 3!

And the quick info on that subject is…it’s all rumors.

But if you’re curious about what’s up with Seth and his future projects, this will make for a great read. Also, I just posted clips from Zack and Miri, click here to watch them. And I posted what Kevin Smith said about Star Trek and Watchmen as he’s seen both of them already. Yes…I hate him as well…

Finally, if you’d like to hear the audio of this interview click here.

Q: I’ve heard your new comedy ‘Observe and Report’ has turned out much differently than people would have expected. Can you talk about it?

Seth Rogen: Well, it’s the exact movie we wanted to make. It’s a super dark comedy. It’s really dark. It’s like ‘Taxi Driver.’ It’s like a comedic ‘Taxi Driver.’ That’s literally what we wanted to make. Jody and I sat down and we were like, ‘We want to make a comedic ‘Taxi Driver.’ If martin Scorsese put me in a movie and wanted it to be kind of funny, but still very dark.’ And that’s exactly what it is and I love it. I think as a film fan I watch it and go, ‘How in the hell did we get away with this?’ It is fuckin’ crazy. It is by far the most edgy movie I’ve been in. The most balls to the walls and most unabashed movie I’ve been in. But I love it. I could watch it over and over and over again.

Q: My friend who saw a test screening said he saw things in that film that have never been done in film history.

Seth: I think so! We really push it and it’s my pleasure. Y’know? In comedy I think it’s always important to push the envelope in some ways and Jody I was always such a big fan of and I’m just glad he got to make that movie the way he wanted to make it and I’m glad I’m in it. I don’t think it’ll get neutered throughout the process of it getting released. I feel like it’s so far in the direction that it is you’d have to take some major work to take it out of that direction. So, I feel good about it. And I’m excited for the world to see it.

Q: For years, Stephen Chow has dismissed attempts to make movies in America. What did you say to him to get him to come stateside and make ‘The Green Hornet’?

Seth: We gave him the goods man. Um, I don’t know. We didn’t know that. We had no idea if he had been approached by anyone. We had just heard he was very hard to get in contact with. But, we sent him the script and heard he wanted to do it. It was as simple as that.

Q: No personal phone call or anything like that?

Seth: Nope. Nothing like that. Literally sent him the script and then we heard he was coming. He’s in hotel right now somewhere.

Q: I think you said you hope he doesn’t realize you’re not the Wachowski’s.

Seth: Yeah, he’s a big fan of them. He’s a great guy. He’s really funny. And we’re just thrilled Every time we’re in a room with him we’re like ‘How the fuck did this happen? We got him! We actually got him!’ It’s really exciting and it’s exciting because a lot of people want to work with him so as we hire our production designer and cinematographers were getting to choose from very good people because, and we didn’t know this, apparently it’s as exciting to everyone else as it was to us that Stephen is making a movie in America. So, it’s great. We’re amazed and thrilled that we ultimately might be the thing that brought him to America and his first American movie is also our movie. Honestly, it’s more exciting that I’m in a Stephen Chow than the ‘Green Hornet’ even.

Q: What can you tell us about ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’?

Seth: Oh, it’s so awesome. I don’t know if you saw that illegal trailer that leaked online. Did you? It’s really rad. You can watch it somewhere. I think they are releasing a trailer for it on the ‘Kung Fu Panda’ DVD which comes out in a few days. And it’s amazing. It’s really awesome. It’s kind of more adult oriented like ‘The Incredibles’ and it’s blown my mind what I’ve seen. It’s really, really funny.

Q: What kind of voice do you do? What’s the character like?

Seth: I play a blob. We’re monsters and I play Bob, he’s called, and he’s a gelatinous blob with no brain so he’s stupid. It’s a very funny character actually. It’s a great movie. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

Q: Your own voice or?

Seth: I don’t have other voices. Have you seen me?

Q: Your name has unofficially been attached to ‘Ghostbusters 3.’ Has anyone talked to you formally about that?

Seth: No. Not at all.

Q: Were would you fall on that?

Seth: It’s hard to imagine that would be good, isn’t it? I mean just as a movie fan I am the first guy to be skeptical of that. It sounds like a terrible idea when you first hear it. At first hearing it sounds like the worst idea ever. I dunno. Maybe. I mean, that would have to be one mutherfucking good script.

Q: But you’ve worked with Ramis before. If he was involved would it be harder to say no?

It all depends on how bad the script was. (Laughs.) There is a point where it’s so bad it’s really easy to say no. I have enough insulation around me now that I don’t have to say anything.

Q: One more question on Stephen Chow, did you guys have a different opinion on the direction of the project when you brought him in?

Seth: Right now is we are just beginning the conversations. I mean, we haven’t started shooting yet. But, no, we wanted his input. We gave him the script in a very early phase hoping that he’d have a lot of ideas to add to it. When we do something, I don’t know if it’s the best idea ever and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to writers, but we send our scripts out to directors at a very early step in the process. To the point where it just scares some directors off all together and they go, ‘Blugh!’ And some people get and say, ‘I get what they are going for and I have a lot o f ideas that can help build this’ And Stephen had a lot of ideas and that’s exactly what we wanted and I feel like – we want our directors to feel like it’s there movie too. We don’t want them to feel like they are just guys brought in to film what we wrote. We want them to feel like they can stand behind it also. So far we haven’t disagreed, we’re all just trying to figure out who he should be.

Q: Any chance we’ll see IMAX on ‘Hornet’ or other upcoming films?

Seth: Yeah, actually, Evan has been doing a lot of research into that lately. As far as 3D goes and IMAX stuff and different ways of shooting stuff. He’s now the resident expert on that if you see him, because he’s really been boning up on the exact price ramifications of shooting on that stuff and how much it traditionally gains you in the box office versus just how cool the filmmakers think it is to have that. So, Evan is boning on that. We’re considering it.

Q: You’re in ‘Fanboys’ which is finally coming out…

Seth: Is it? I bet you a million dollars it won’t. (Laughs.)

Q: I talked to the director on the red carpet last night and he said the Weinstein’s have a release date…

Seth: Yeah, yeah, OK.

Q: You play 5 million parts in that film and you’re really good in it…

Seth: I do. Thanks. It’s been ridiculous. I play a lot of different characters. I had a good time doing it. I made that movie — you have no concept of how long…I made that movie before I made ‘Knocked Up.’ I made that movie a really long time ago. I had a lot of fun making it. I pretty much did it because Jay Baruchel was in it and we’re really good friends and I didn’t know any of those other guys, but I went and I had a good time. They let me put on prosthetic make up and I got to play a Star Trek fan. I play a pimp in one scene. It was a lot of fun and then I don’t know what the fuck happened after that. They bumbled that one. I think it’s a good lesson in not listening to people on the Internet. I think they got scared by Internet buzz and I’m of the thought that Internet buzz is literally influenced by 500 people with laptops. And I think they let Internet buzz change it and then change it back and then make some other weird version of it. And I don’t know what the hell they are going to release. Let the filmmakers make their movies and don’t worry about early reactions are. If the people who made it like it, I would release like that. I don’t know why. To me, it has been a very mishandled project.

Q: Can you talk about what Judd has been like on ‘Funny People’ compared to the others?

Seth: It’s a different movie. It’s tonally a little more dramatic at times. So, that actually makes it a lot easier, so we don’t have to think of jokes all day. We’re not constantly pressuring ourselves to make it hilarious in every scene. The fact Janusz (DP) is shooting it takes off a lot of pressure. The one problem people have with our movies sometimes is that they don’t look that good. So, it’s somehow a battle of how can we improvise a lot and keep it visually interesting, but Janusz is such a genius he’s found a way of shooting with three cameras at once and it looks as beautiful as anything you’ve every seen. So, that has actually made it a lot easier and taken a lot of pressure of and it’s been a lot of fun. Working with Sandler is great. He creates a very relaxed environment. It’s actually been the most relaxed shooting experience I’ve ever had.

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