There’ve been plenty of great self-aware and meta comedies over the years, but they don’t exactly lend themselves too well to the idea of sequels. Having the cast play slightly fictionalized versions of themselves generates plenty of scope for humor and wild story developments, but it’s the kind of trick that largely only works once.
One of the best recent examples is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This is the End, which roped in a murderer’s row of big name comedy talent, and then proceeded to kill the majority of them off at the end of the first act, leaving the core members of the ensemble trapped inside James Franco’s house as the apocalypse unfolds around them.
The feature-length version of Rogen’s short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse was a big hit, earning $126 million at the box office and winning praise from critics thanks to the ridiculous premise giving the stars free reign to combine their signature brand of humor with the looming threat of Biblical disaster.
Jay Baruchel was the closest thing that This is the End had to a standard protagonist, and in a new interview, he admitted that he’d be open to the idea of a sequel if the fates were to align and allow everyone to return.
“It’s a good movie. It’s a very good movie. Always, of course, always. But getting all of us together is like f*cking herding cats. Yeah. I’m real proud of that flick and so yeah, I could. They could probably talk me into doing another one if it came to be.”
Of course, as well as the scheduling nightmare presented by trying to recruit the majority of Hollywood’s premiere comic actors for a second time, there’s also the fact that everybody died by the end of the movie, after This is the End closed with the Backstreet Boys reuniting for a performance in heaven. Then again, the whole film was so unexpectedly insane that audiences would probably buy into a sequel, regardless of how the plot was set in motion.