Seth Rogen says Sony 'wasn't interested' in Pineapple Express sequel
It's not a good day for fans of the 2008 comedy Pineapple Express.
The film, co-written and starring Seth Rogen, could've had a follow-up in theaters but there wasn't any interest from Sony bosses in expanding on the original at that time. The stoner comedy follows process server Dale Denton (Rogen) and his marijuana dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco), and their adventures as they flee from hitmen and corrupt cops after they witness a murder.
Rogen spoke to Howard Stern on Wednesday and explained why the sequel he pitched never saw the light of day.
"Maybe," Rogen told Stern when asked if the film will ever get a sequel. "We tried to make one and thanks to the Sony hack you can actually find the email when Sony decided to kill the movie and not make it. So, it was something we were very open to several years ago but Sony was not that interested in it."
The actor noted money was a factor in the decision-making process, adding, "I think we probably wanted too much money. Studios, they don't like giving away money. Weird thing."
According to The Daily Beast, a letter between the film's producer Judd Apatow and former Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, dated January 23, 2014, discussed the possibility of Pineapple Express 2.
“I am so glad we are so close to getting pineapple express 2 figured out," the message from Apatow reads according to the outlet. "I am very excited to make this thing real. We are very inspired creatively on this one. We have hilarious ideas. It is gonna be awesome. We learned so much on how to make these comedy sequels when we did anchorman 2. And we rocked that marketing campaign. Foreign is doing awesome too. I am sure PE2 will do even better! Marijuana is so popular now! It's on every corner!”
The conversation that followed on Sony's behalf shows the studio was interested in a follow-up but money was the point of contention. Pascal stuck to her original offer of $45 million, plus $37 million for marketing and not the $50 million+marketing Apatow was asking for.
“I think they should agree to the 45 contractually and we have and always will do the right thing," Pascal said.
Directed by David Gordon Green, Pineapple Express earned $101.6 million worldwide against a $27 million budget and Rogen pointed out “no one got paid anything and that's why it was highly highly highly profitable." He also recalled how he and co-writer Evan Goldberg were viewed as "stupid and crazy” for setting out to make a "weed action movie," which they developed for five years.
"It's a tough genre," Rogen added. "When we made Pineapple Express there were not a lot of great weed movies. As we would tell people we were making a weed action movie, they looked at us like we were f---ing so stupid and crazy."
Watch Rogen's conversation with Stern about the film above.