The Produced By conference – staged at the Warner Bros. lot this weekend – created many opportunities for discussion of upcoming projects, future strategies and past successes. It was opened by a panel featuring the multi-talented Seth Rogen. As an actor, writer, producer and director, Rogen has delivered many high profile projects over the 15 years since he got his first screen role in Freaks and Geeks. With the co-president of the Producers Guild of America, Mark Gordon, moderating, Rogen was joined by his producing partners, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver.
Seeing as their latest release – Neighbors – sailed past $135 million in box office takings this past weekend, Rogen said of the inevitable idea of a sequel that, “We are having lots of discussions.” If and when a follow-up happens, we can be sure it will retain the same relatively low-budget status of the original, because Rogen and Goldberg already learned their lesson on the less-successful 2011 movie, The Green Hornet. They agreed:
“We learned not to make $200 million movies. It’s not fun.”
For that reason, their production company, Point Grey, opted to slash the proposed budget of Neighbors in half, to reduce the mounting interference from studio executives:
“At least we didn’t make a movie we hate and had to work on for a year and a half.”
Rogen and Goldberg have collaborated on a variety of projects since the age of 13, but they made that creative partnership more formal in 2011, with the release of the first title under their Point Grey banner, 50/50. This was soon followed by This Is The End in 2013, and Rogen confirmed that the company remains firm in its commitment to the R-rated comedy genre:
“Life is R-rated… no matter what you do. It’s more fun working on stuff that makes me laugh all day.”
With discussions ongoing regarding a Neighbors sequel, and a Jazz Cops project in the works – potentially starring Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart as buddy cops trying to infiltrate the 1950s jazz scene – it looks like there is plenty more fuel in Point Grey’s R-rated engine.