WonderCon: Sony Pictures Panel Recap Featuring THIS IS THE END with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson

     March 30, 2013

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Today at WonderCon, Sony Pictures’ panel ended with a presentation of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This Is the End.  Kicking off with a never-before-seen green-band trailer, the presentation also included two clips from the apocalyptic comedy and a Q&A from Rogen, Goldberg, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson.

This Is the End, opening June 14th, stars Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jay Baruchel, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Martin Starr and more.  Hit the jump for our panel recap, which may contain some spoilers.

this-is-the-end-seth-rogen-james-franco-jonah-hillThe new green-band trailer, which will hopefully be available shortly, revealed a bit more of the story both before and after the apocalypse.  When Baruchel flies to L.A. to visit Rogen, the long-time buddies go to a party at Franco’s house where Cera is drugged out of his mind and hitting on Rihanna (who doesn’t take his advances too kindly).  Before long, a series of tremors send the partiers running outside to see the southern California landscape ablaze.  Sinkholes begin appearing everywhere and various people  drop into them (apparently into Hell itself?).  The funniest moments come when watching celebrities meet their untimely deaths since, rather than a character that needs to be established, they’re simply playing themselves.

The trailer then switched to events that took place after the end of the world and show the survivors attempting to figure out their next course of action.  There are some possible spoilers shown as some people appear to be abducted into the sky by beams of light; there’s also some sort of other-worldly creature running amok in a store.  I’m not sure if Rogen and Goldberg have one particular menace in mind as the cause for the end of the world or if they’re going to explore all the tropes of earlier apocalyptic movies, but it certainly looks like a helluva way to go out in style.

The first clip they screened shows an extended sequence at Franco’s party and the immediate events after everyone goes outside.  Paul Rudd shows up with a magnum of champagne but he’s clearly too late. Cera, who’s all doped up, ignores the apocalypse and starts ranting at the guests, accusing them of stealing his cellphone.  In an unexpected bit of bloody violence, he’s impaled by a falling streetlight and dropped into a sinkhole a moment later.  More celebrities are quickly dispatched including Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Rihanna and Martin Starr.

this-is-the-endA second clip suggests that This Is the End may poke fun at a variety of End of Days scenarios.  Titled “The Exorcism of Jonah Hill,” this clip finds Hill tied up in restraints on a bed since he’s been possessed by a demon.  Baruchel is performing exorcism rites with varying levels of success.

Here’s a look at the highlights of the panel recap:

  • Just for fun, Rogen showed up in a full-body Wolverine suit, while Goldberg wasn’t wearing much besides a gimp mask and harness.
  • Rogen says that the celebrity kill count is in the double digits.  He said, “It’s funny to see famous people die in fairly graphic ways.”
  • Originally, having celebrities play themselves was Rogen and Goldberg’s surefire idea that they thought the studio would jump at.  Instead, studio execs took quite a bit of convincing after the initial pitch.
  • Rogen also talked about the heart of the story, the fact that his two groups of friends don’t always get along, but are forced to deal with their differences in the face of the end of the world.
  • Rogen and Goldberg describe Cera’s character as a “lunatic cokehead.”

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