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Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview

Seth Rogen is easily one of the busiest individuals in the entertainment industry. When he’s not playing the lead in major comedies, he’s at work writing and producing other projects, both for the big and small screens. Given this extreme productivity, however, you may not have noticed something: he and his regular filmmaking partner Evan Goldberg have not directed a feature since 2014.

While Rogen and Goldberg have helmed a few episodes of different television shows in recent years, they haven’t been at the head of a film project since the release of The Interview… which you may remember didn’t exactly have the most standard journey through the promotion and distribution stages. As it turns out, Rogen remains a bit shell-shocked from that whole experience, which is the reason he attributes to the gap in his directing resume.

With Seth Rogen’s new movie, An American Pickle, launching on HBO Max this Friday, I had the pleasure of interviewing him earlier this week, and it was during our conversation that I took the opportunity to ask about his thoughts regarding directing another film. He explained that he and Evan Goldberg have been using their time social distancing in recent months to work on a new feature that they are planning to helm together, but added that he and his partner still aren’t entirely over what happened to The Interview. Said Rogen,

We've been writing a film that we would hopefully direct throughout this time. We've been working on it for years and years and years and years, honestly. Truthfully, after The Interview we were a little traumatized, I think. The idea of going into television and directing a lot of TV shows and pilots, it just was a very educational experience to us.

For those who don’t recall the details, The Interview – which centers on a TV host and producer who are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un – was the subject of intense controversy prior to its release in late 2014. In aim of trying to get the release of the movie cancelled, hackers attacked employees at Sony Pictures and released thousands of private company emails to the public. Ultimately the film did come out, though it was primarily through Premium VOD and Netflix instead of a standard wide theatrical release.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg haven’t helmed a feature since, but as noted above they have kept their skills sharp by directing episodes of Preacher, Future Man and Black Monday – all shows produced by their production company Point Grey Pictures. Continuing, Rogen explained that working on the three dissimilar series gave himself and Goldberg the chance to operate in new and different ways, and that it has helped them prepare for what’s next. Said the An American Pickle star,

We wanted to try a lot of different things as directors, and work with different cinematographers, different actors, different tones, different styles. And it was actually an incredible learning experience for us. And after years of doing that, we feel like we were ready to go back into directing a film basically.

So what is it that Seth Rogen’s working on? For what’s it’s worth, I did ask for just a hint of what he and Evan Goldberg are currently cooking up… but he declined the opportunity to share. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

Exactly how long we’ll have to wait is unclear – but the good news is that there basically is no wait at all for the release of the next Seth Rogen film. An American Pickle, which features the actor doing a dual-role performance, will be available to stream for HBO Max subscribers starting on Friday. In the days ahead, be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage of the movie, as well as more from my interview with the star/producer.

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