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Sony Pictures is welcoming The Apocalypse. The studio is in negotiations to finance and distribute the end-of-the-world comedy that is serving as the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg.
Rogen (50/50, Green Hornet) wrote the script with Goldberg (from a story by Goldberg and Jason Stone) and are producing with James Weaver via their Point Grey banner. The project is inspired by a short called Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse that featured Rogen and Jay Baruchel playing themselves, holed up in an apartment as they dealt with the end of the world. Mandate is prducing and put the project into development in 2008. It has been inching forward ever since.
The project’s scope has expanded slightly from its days as a short, as Rogen and Baruchel will now be joined by James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, all playing themselves as they are stuck in Franco’s apartment in Los Angeles facing an apocalypse. The filmmakers also are hoping to populate the movie with cameos.
Mandate’s Nathan Kahane and Nicole Brown are exec producing the picture with Point Grey’s Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir and Stone. A source says is budgeted in the $30 million to $40 million range. The filmmakers assembled the talent package before shopping it to studios. Several bidders were interested but a source close to the situation says Sony has now entered serious negotiations for the film and—barring some last-minute complication—a deal is expected to wrap up soon. No exact release date has been set.
Rogen, Goldberg and Mandate last collaborated on the awards season contender 50/50, released by Summit. Rogen and Goldberg have enjoyed a successful relationship with Sony, for whom they¹ve made, in various capacities, movies such as Superbad, Pineapple Express and Green Hornet.
Rogen and Goldberg are repped by UTA. Rogen also is managed by Principal Entertainment.
A spring production start is being eyed.
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