The duo talk candidly about their critical bombs on two podcasts
Producing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg understand why critics panned their "The Green Hornet" and "The Guilt Trip," and they weren't afraid to admit it on comedian Doug Benson's "Doug Loves Movies" and Mark Maron's "WTF" podcasts on Monday.
While chatting about the duo's directorial debut, "This Is the End," Benson brought up a joke in the movie poking fun at "Green Hornet," a 2011 action movie directed by Michel Gondry.
"It was just a perfect storm of bad shit happening," Rogen said. "We shouldn't make expensive movies where we can't just do a million dick jokes. That's what we've learned over the years."
Would they do a sequel even if they could take their desired, hard-R rated approach?
"No, not at all. That would be a nightmare," Rogen said. "I would rather just not work for a year," Goldberg added.
When Benson brought up watching "Guilt Trip" on not one, but two airplanes, Rogen couldn't resist jabbing the quality of his 2012 collaboration with Barbra Streisand.
"We shot that movie in the format that plays on airplanes only," Rogen joked. "They were like, 'Talk loud because the engine will be roaring. You've got to talk over the engine; there's announcements early on in the flight. You've got to take that into consideration'."
Their candid reflection on "Hornet" continued during Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast.
Rogen called it "a dark time" because he and Goldberg dedicated three years of their lives to a production that ended up being "a f—ing nightmare." The problem? A combination of a massive budget, an inexperienced director in Gondry and an overbearing studio.
"The director is wonderful at smaller scale stuff but I think he did not mesh well. It was his first movie with more than a $20 million budget and this was a $120 million budget. We had never made an action movie, he had never made an action movie," Rogen explained. "And if there is one thing I look back on like, 'What was the problem there?' It was just the budget. We can't make a really edgy fun movie for our types of people for that amount of money."
Despite the production problems and criticism, Rogen and Goldberg said "Green Hornet" was their highest-grossing movie to date, but admitted they were disappointed with the domestic take. Although the superhero movie made $227 million worldwide, it grossed $98.7 million domestically.
"This Is the End," a Los Angeles-set apocalypse comedy hitting theaters on Wednesday, only cost $31 million to make — and, much to Rogen and Goldberg's delight, it's filled with dick jokes.