Cabin fever meets the pending apocalypse as the upcoming comedy This Is The End rounded out the three films showcased by Sony Pictures on their mid-afternoon panel on Saturday at WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim, CA, held in the large and sprawling packed to the rafters Arena.
Starring the ever sloppily unkempt but hilariously endearing Seth Rogen, along with his writing partner Evan Goldberg (they both directed the film) and with Danny Mcbride and Craig Robinson, This Is The End shows six friends (who all play themselves and including James Franco and Jonah Hill) trapped in a large dwelling (Franco’s house at a party) after a series of cataclysmic events decimates much of Los Angeles. The fallout from the events sort of takes the narrative to akin to an urban, zany Lord of the Flies, as the relationships feel the strain from the dearth of supplies and being trapped with one another. Eventually the friends are forced to leave the house and have to deal with the new way of life, which is now manifested on purely survival, which eventually draws them every so closer, albeit kookily so.
The four aforementioned men appeared on the panel to discuss the film, with Rogen coming out dressed as a low-rent Wolverine in which he exclaimed to the others that he thought they were doing the X-Men bit. Evan Goldberg came out in S&M style leather and Rogen told him that Adultcon was LAST WEEK. An exclusive green band trailer was then shown, which showed the cast and explained more of the story too. Mixed with comedy, green screen, the chemistry comedy styles of the men, and high production values, the crowd howled with laughter at the footage.
The cast all agreed that it was best to have the film take places at Franco’s house, Robinson mentioning that they couldn’t do it at his place, because he resides in a one-bedroom with about 10 people living there. Rogen summed the film up by saying that its basic impetus is that it would be cool to see famous people die in supernatural ways. Rogen and Goldberg agreed that they pretty much killed who they wanted to kill, celebrity wise.
Another clip was then shown, during a party at James Franco’s house, when the end of the world occurs. Zany, silly, full of zest, and special effects, it was at once like a Judd Apatow sequence as directed by Michael Bay. Michael Cera made a funny cameo wondering who in the hell took his cell phone, before he gets impaled by a street light as the world explodes and crumbles around everyone, done ala Monty Python, in which of course, ultimately turns out that he had his cell phone all along. Mayhem then ensues as the ground splits and starts sucking up people at a rapid clip, dismembering limbs, all done unrealistically and ridiculously. Staged in a quick manner and rapidly edited, it was a swirling, bloody, insane mess, which made the moderator of the panel, Dalton Ross of EW, exclaim, “Oh, it’s one of those movies.”
The cast then in their inimitable humor style, answered questions about the making of the film and Rogen remarked that it would be impossible for him to survive such an apocalypse in real life, cause he needs to subsist on plenty of calories daily. He also mentioned that it was like The Avengers, because the men were like a team and that “if you liked The Avengers, you’ll like this film.”
When asked who was least like themselves in real life as opposed to their portrayals in the film, they all agreed it was Michael Cera, because they joked that he was a coke head. Yet another clip was then shown, in which Jonah Hill starts freaking out as he gets possessed, something that Rogen mentioned, “wasn’t that far off from The Evil Dead.” Done in Exorcist-style parody, replete with sinister dubbed in voice, the scene got laughs as it parodied the “power of Christ compels you” sequence in The Exorcist, in which Hill turns on its ear, done up crudely in Linda Blair style makeup, sarcastically refuting all advances with crude comments.
A fun Q&A wrapped things up where when asked about The World’s End, the Simon Pegg vehicle, Rogen stressed that there was no overlapping and that everyone remained friends and cordial. When Danny McBride was asked to do his Kenny catchphrase from Eastbound and Down, he turned down the request, comically saying that there were “children present.” When a fan asked if there was a lot of improv on set, Rogen said sure, because Robinson “can’t read.” Someone then asked Rogen what his next project was, and he replied that “Wolverine comes out in July…in Japan.” Finally, Rogen expressed he’d love to do a Freaks and Geeks reunion.
Crazy, wild stuff in the guise of what looks to be a fun film for fans of these comedians, a leave your brain at the door production, as This is the End opens in theaters soon.
[Photo credit: This Is The End panel photos from 2013 WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, by Andrew Sorcini (Mr. Babyman) for Geeks of Doom.]