So, the once-and-never-again Green Hornet, Seth Rogen, officially announced via Movies.com that he would not have a role in director Judd Apatow’s follow-up/sequel/spin-off of Knocked Up starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, previously entitled This Is Forty. Considering that Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off Get Him To The Greek only carried over Russell Brand (while re-casting Jonah Hill), this isn’t too surprising. Or even newsworthy.
What is newsworthy, however, is that Rogen has spilled the canned refried beans that he and writing partner Evan Goldberg will be co-writing, directing, and half-starring alongside fellow “Undeclared” alum Jay Baruchel in a feature length version of their previous short film/faux trailer Jay and Seth Vs. the Apocalypse. If you’ve never seen the trailer, I highly recommend you do so.
The concept of two loners, or a very small group, stuck inside while the capital A-pocalypse occurs outside their doors is something every film student in every film program in the world imagines at one time or another. It’s the kind of idea that would seemingly enable a young, inexperienced filmmaker to have their genre cake and be able to eat it, too, as the budget would be much smaller than a stereotypical movie of its ilk. But that lack of budget generally makes even that seemingly simple idea infeasible, because only Wallace Shawn and Richard Linklater have successfully made real movies about two people in a small, contained space. And both of those films take place over the course of a single night.
Like most good ideas in college, the Odd Couple Ragnarok usually gets abandoned. But the faux trailer above perfectly captures that concept without becoming a bore. Rogen himself seems to recognize this narrative setback when he states that the feature is “now much more than just Jay and Seth.” He continues, “[T]here’s many other people vs. the apocalypse now. It’s gonna be crazy.” I imagine the actual movie’s first act will likely be a longer riff on the trailer, with the remainder being some sort of Shaun of the Dead meets “The Stand” comedy epic.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see, as the film doesn’t start, um, filming until February 2012. That it’s going to be a real thing that I have to legitimately wait for is somewhat painful, as I’ve been theoretically waiting for nearly five years already. Hopefully, though, it’s production start will mean the final film is completed just in time for a December 2012 release date. After all, in comedy and calculating the end of the world, timing is everything.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and counts down the days to the Jay/Seth Apocalypse, not the “Maya” one, on the Twitter machine @RobOfWar.