HBO Max has released a trailer for its upcoming comedy An American Pickle starring Seth Rogen and… Seth Rogen!
The star of Pineapple Express and Neighbors plays dual roles in the film, including that of Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his family. One day, while working at his factory job, Herschel falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly, and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, the impressively bearded man finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when Herschel seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum (Rogen again), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.
Rogen’s frequent cinematographer Brandon Trost directed from a script by Simon Rich, who adapted his own 2013 New Yorker novella series Sell Out. Rogen produced with his Point Grey partners Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, while Rich executive produced alongside Point Grey’s Alex McAtee and Ted Gidlow. The supporting cast includes Sarah Snook, Jorma Taccone, Eliot Glazer and Kalen Allen.
An American Pickle was made by Sony with a theatrical release in mind, but the pandemic forced the studio to reassess its plans and ultimately sell the movie to a streaming service. It was a win for Sony, which generated a little cash flow even though theaters are closed, as well as a win for HBO Max, which desperately needed an original movie to build its subscriber base this summer. The streamer acquired rights to the Melissa McCarthy comedy Superintelligence last year, but is apparently holding that film until the fall.
While Rogen and his Point Grey pals would no doubt have liked to see An American Pickle be released into theaters, surely they understand the economics in play here. At least a streaming release on HBO Max guarantees that a healthy number of people will be able to see the film this year.
HBO Max boss Kevin Reilly called An American Pickle a “wonderfully original, funny, and heartfelt film” that stands out in the current marketplace, which has been decidedly light on comedies this summer, even though audiences could probably use a good laugh now more than ever.
An American Pickle will debut on HBO Max on Aug. 6, so watch the trailer above, and click here to read about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that Rogen is producing.