Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg on How 'Good Boys' Echoes 'Superbad'

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"Every 10 years we're going to make a teen comedy — that's what we're allowed," Goldberg joked at the film's premiere on Wednesday.

Twelve years after becoming breakout stars as the writers of Superbad, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have returned with another raunchy coming-of-age comedy — this time with tweens. 

The duo serve as producers on Universal's Good Boys, which follows three sixth graders on an R-rated journey as they navigate first kisses, stolen drugs and their parents' sex toys. The film has drawn frequent comparisons to Superbad, which Goldberg says is one of the reasons they wanted to get involved with the project. 

"It's a completely different story that has a lot of the same themes and similar elements, but it's a really different comedic premise," Goldberg told The Hollywood Reporter at the Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday. "This is based on their innocence and it's a similar emotional story, but it's a very different time in life. Superbad is about these two guys who are ride or die forever, and this is about these kids coming into their own."

Rogen added, "It was fun to explore similar themes because we obviously love that type of movie, and that's why we spent such a large chunk of our lives making Superbad." Goldberg joked, "Every 10 years we're going to make a teen comedy — that's what we're allowed."  

Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon star as the foul-mouthed but largely innocent 12-year-olds. Williams admitted that his mom was shocked when she read the script but encouraged him to go for the role "because she knows it's not really me cussing." Room star Tremblay, who is venturing into comedy for the first time, said he read the raunchy script with his parents, "but we all thought it was super funny." 

When it came to bringing the material to life, writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky said they were careful to keep the bad behavior only on screen, and if the young actors had questions about what specific adult content meant, they were encouraged to ask their parents. 

"We made sure that all of the coarse language stayed on set. When we talked to them, we weren't swearing; we'd say, 'the F word' so we kept it to a minimum," said Stupnitsky, who also directed the film. "If things ever got too crazy we'd just say, 'Go ask your mom.' That was our way out. Those poor moms."

"They won't speak to us at the premiere, but that's how we made it through shooting," Eisenberg joked.  

Outside the swearing and sex jokes, the film included continuous dialogue about consent as the boys navigate their first relationships. 

"[Consent] is very real and something that should be addressed," Stupnitsky said of featuring the storyline. "There's a long history of movies being on the other side of that, and I think going forward it's imperative for filmmakers, as the world evolves, to evolve with it."  

Co-stars Will Forte, Stephen Merchant, Sam Richardson, Millie Davis, Chance Hurstfield and Josh Caras also were in attendance at the premiere, held at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California.

Good Boys hits theaters Friday.