Seth Rogen Goes Green: First HBO Max’s ‘An American Pickle’ and Now an Animated ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Movie
HBO Max’s Seth Rogen-led comedy, An American Pickle, becomes available to stream this week. The film follows a 1920s immigrant worker who is preserved in pickle brine for 100 years. When he awakens, he seeks outs his only surviving relative, his great-grandson (also played by Rogen) — one bong, two Rogens, same laugh.
An American Pickle isn’t the only green thing Rogen is involved in. According to Deadline, Nickelodeon (and Paramount) is rebooting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the silver screen with Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver’s production company, Point Grey Pictures, at the helm. Jeff Rowe is set to direct and Brendan O’Brien will be writing the script. The project will be Nick Animation Studio’s first CG-animated theatrical feature.
When you think Rogen, you think about his appetite for R-rated language, genitalia jokes, and weed. However, the comedic genius of Rogen and Goldberg is more than just Sausage Party-esque gags. Whether the story is about two best friends growing apart, a frat president moving on, or an irresponsible stoner becoming a father, there’s always heart in their humor.
Nickelodeon recently revived the TMNT nostalgia reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s on the small screen; now, a contemporary, quirky, and endearing blockbuster is just what the franchise needs. The last thing TMNT fans (the ones who had Michelangelo birthday cakes throughout the ’90s) need is another lackluster adaptation of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comic book. Thankfully, everything Rogen is attached to is pretty good (besides Green Hornet, that sucked). That said, let’s take a look back at some of Rogen’s best projects, specifically ones he’s produced.
Cover Photo: HBO Max/Paramount Pictures
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11. 'The Interview'
Rogen and his longtime writing partner Goldberg produced and directed The Interview. While not his strongest film (but definitely his most controversial), the charisma of Rogen and James Franco as the leads is enough to warrant a watch.
10. 'Neighbors' (and 'Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising')
The Neighbors franchise sees new parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) deal with fraternity/sorority neighbors on two separate occasions. Rogen produced both films and received writing credit on the second—they’re the type of hilarious, unpredictable, and surprisingly heartfelt projects we expect from Rogen and company.
9. 'This Is the End'
Rogen and Goldberg produced, directed, and “wrote” This Is the End. The film follows Rogen and his friends stuck in James Franco’s house during the apocalypse. With a slew of hilarious celebrity cameos and just enough plot to make it feel like a movie and not completely like an improvised sketch, This Is the End is meta at its most bizarre.
8. 'Pineapple Express'
Following in the footsteps of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Pineapple Express is one of the most successful stoner movies of the 21st century. Rogen and Goldberg produced, wrote, and directed the film about a stoner, Dale Denton (Rogen), who drops a roach while witnessing a murder. Unfortunately, dangerous people trace the rare strain of weed Denton was smoking back to him and his dealer (James Franco).
7. 'Long Shot'
Rogen produced and starred in Long Shot, where he plays Fred Flarsky, a truth-obsessed journalist who gets a job writing speeches for presidential candidate Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who also happens to be his former babysitter and childhood crush.
Rogen produced and starred in 50/50, a black-comedy-drama inspired by the true story about Will Reiser’s (a friend of Rogen’s) experience with cancer in his 20s. Rogen’s character in the film, Kyle, is based on Rogen in real life.
5. 'Future Man'
Rogen served as a producer, occasional director, and guest star of Future Man, Hulu’s series about a janitor, Josh (Josh Hutcherson), who is visited by soldiers from a dystopian future after beating a seemingly unbeatable video game. To save humanity, Josh, Tiger (Eliza Coupe), and Wolf (Derek Wilson) travel across time more often than they probably should.
Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic book series of the same name, Preacher was developed for television by Rogen, Goldberg, and Sam Catlin. The series follows Jesse Custer, an unconventional preacher who becomes infused with a biblical power, his girlfriend, Tulip, and their Irish vampire friend, Cassidy.
3. 'The Boys'
Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book of the same name, The Boys was developed by Rogen, Goldberg, and Eric Kripke for Amazon. The series following a group of vigilantes who fight/rebel against the tyrannical superheroes who manipulate and abuse society.
2. 'Knocked Up'
Rogen produced his first true vehicle with Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up. The film follows a rising journalist (Katherine Heigl) who has a one-night stand with Rogen’s slacker, Ben Stone, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. The film arguably made Rogen a household name (or already furthered his path to being one).
Written and produced by Rogen and Goldberg while they were still in high school (semi-autobiographical), Superbad follows two co-dependent seniors coming to terms with separation anxiety before graduation amidst planning to buy booze, attend a party, and get laid. The film would set the foundation for what Rogen and Goldberg were capable of as producers, writers, and filmmakers.
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