What Happened to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Collaborations?

Canada has consistently produced some of the biggest names in showbiz since the dawn of cinema, from industry pioneer Mary Pickford to Ryans Gosling and Reynold, as well as bona fide legends like James Cameron and  the late Christopher Plummer. The list goes on. Yet arguably the finest modern Canadian filmmaking duo consists of comedy stalwarts Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, whose brand of comedy helped shape the ever-changing genre from the late 2000s onwards. However, their names have been less prevalent in recent years, at least from behind the camera, as the two have not directed a film since 2014’s The Interview, begging the question, what have they been up to?

Of course, Rogen has remained active on the acting scene, appearing in numerous roles since The Interview, and thus it is easy to assume that the duo has been less collaborative considering the level of exposure they had at the height of their comedy directing in the early-to-mid-2010s. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are long-time friends who met while attending high school in British Columbia, where they clicked as creative partners. Their first big break as writers was on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show, though Rogen was already dabbling in acting, having appeared in the cult TV shows Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared (both of which saw Rogen working with Judd Apatow), while making his feature film debut in 2001’s Donnie Darko.

Rogen worked once again with Judd Apatow on the critically acclaimed Steve Carrell comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin in a significant supporting role, and his continued professional relationship with Apatow was pivotal in taking both he and Goldberg to the next level of the industry, producing their loosely biographical screenplay Superbad in 2007, which would also star Rogen in addition to both he and Goldberg being credited as executive producers. Today, it is rightfully considered as one of the greatest high school comedy films ever made.

From there, the duo would write another hit, Pineapple Express, which made over $100 million US on a budget of $26 million US, a runaway success that established Rogen and Goldberg as arguably the foremost stoner comedy writers in Hollywood. Sure, they would trip up with critical and commercial flops The Green Hornet (no idea what they were thinking with this one) and The Watch, but would bounce back with their 2013 feature length directorial debut, the meta-pocalytpic celebrity roast that is This Is the End, which they also co-wrote together. 

The film brought further acclaim and commercial success to Rogen and Goldberg, leading to much anticipation for their next project, which would be the aforementioned comedy The Interview, a so-so affair best known for causing a diplomatic crisis because of its unflattering depiction of North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong-un. It completely flopped in theatres, although it did find success in digital rentals, grossing almost four times its box office, at least recuperating its production costs.

Rogen and Goldberg have not directed a feature length film since, but they have hardly been idle, writing and producing comedies Sausage Party (which became the highest grossing R-rated animated film at the time) and Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising, though they have leaned into producing more recently. The list is too long to name each and every project the duo has produced since, but it includes feature films like the Academy Award-nominated The Disaster Artist, Blockers, Longshot and Good Boys, and they are currently working on an animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adaptation. 

Interestingly, movies have taken a back seat to their ongoing endeavours with television. Rogen and Goldberg’s first standout project was the adaptation of the Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon graphic novel series Preacher on AMC, which they developed and produced alongside Sam Catilin, who served as showrunner. Preacher concluded its well-received run in 2019, and the two have since served as producers for one of the finest TV shows on-air at the moment, The Boys, whose third season is set for release in June. They are also working on two different spinoffs for the show, one of which is an animated series called The Boys: Diabolical, set for release some time this year.

This is all without mentioning a number of other projects Rogen and Goldberg have in the works, which includes and untitled TV movie for NBC, a mini-series called Console Wars, and even a Darkwing Duck TV series, upon all of which they will serve as producers. 

So, it is safe to say that while Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have taken a step back from writing and directing feature length films, it is by no means a dissolution of their working relationship. On the contrary, they have simply shifted their considerable talents to television at a time when it is hitting one creative peak after another. There is little doubt that they will write and direct another feature length film down the line – which, in all likelihood, will be a comedy – but until then, I for one am excited to see what they can do with their current ongoing projects, as well as those coming further down the line.


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