That same day, Rogen sent a similar email to Pascal: “Got some stuff we are pretty psyched about. It would be a blast.”
Columbia Pictures co-president of production Michael De Luca initially had reservations about $50 million but finally came around. However, president of SPE’s Motion Picture Group Doug Belgrad was unconvinced, writing: “In my heart, I don’t believe Pineapple is Austin Powers or even Anchorman; I think it’s more like This Is the End.” Pascal, too, was unwilling to spend more than $45 million, essentially killing it.
However, difficulty arose when the exact budget was debated. Sony’s financial team held firm on allotting $45 million, but Apatow wanted to make it for $50 million, rationalizing that the extra money would go toward better action scenes to offer more marketability to an international audience.
Another project inciting heated debate recently was Adam Sandler‘s proposed Candyland film, with Sandler apparently demanding during a meeting that Sony greenlight the film on the spot for $200 million.
According to reports by the Daily Beast (here and here), one film that Sony was considering committing to was Pineapple Express 2, a follow-up to the 2008 Judd Apatow-produced comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Those two actors also star in The Interview, which Sony pulled Wednesday from a planned theatrical release after hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack.
In January, Apatow emailed Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal to say he was optimistic that the sequel would get made. “I am so glad we are so close to getting Pineapple Express 2 figured out,” he wrote. “I am very excited to make this thing real. We are very inspired creatively on this one. We have hilarious ideas.” He added that the sequel would make more money than the first one, explaining: “Marijuana is so popular now!”
Emails leaked by hackers following last month’s cyberattack on Sony’s systems have shed light on the studio’s contract negotiations for several projects.
In an April email to Pascal and other execs, Columbia Pictures co-president of productions Hannah Minghella wrote: “Adam is an asshole, and this is more his fault than anyone’s, but what we did was not communicate with each other and make assumptions.” Similarly, in an October email regarding Sandler asking for an additional six-figure production fee for his producing partner Allen Covert on Hotel Transylvania 2, Pascal wrote that Sandler and Covert are “assholes.”
Later that month, De Luca wrote that he wanted the studio to hire writer-directors like Edgar Wright to prepare for the potential absence of longtime Sony mainstays Sandler, who agreed earlier this year to a four-film deal with Netflix, and Will Smith, whose last Sony film was the 2013 flop After Earth.
'Pineapple Express 2' appears to have fallen apart earlier this year over $5 million
Huey Lewis and the News recorded an original theme song for #PineappleExpress. We were inspired by our favorite 80s movies that had rock songs with their titles. Here he is performing it on Kimmel: https://t.co/nXVbuiW9z0 via @YouTube
In #PineappleExpress, me and my co-writer Evan had to roll all the cross joints needed to film (about 100) ourselves because nobody else on the crew could roll them properly.
While we were filming the scene where Red is taped to the chair in #PineappleExpress, Danny had to actually be taped in the chair all day and we couldn’t let him out because it took too long to put him back. pic.twitter.com/vBmmcRTuiL
“There was NO strain of weed called #PineappleExpress when we made the movie. We said ‘if one day, people are out there selling weed called Pineapple Express, it worked.'”
We wrote #PineappleExpress express for me to play Saul and Franco to play Dale. James wanted to switch roles, and I didn’t care that much, so we did.
There was NO strain of weed called #PineappleExpress when we made the movie. We said “if one day, people are out there selling weed called Pineapple Express, it worked”.
The shots of the dick drawings on the principals desk in Superbad was actually filmed on the set of #PineappleExpress in the woods while we were shooting Dale and Saul destroying their cell phones.
The name #PineappleExpress was around for years before the movie. It’s a Hawaiian weather system that sometimes hits the Pacific Northwest, which is where we’re from. Evan heard the name and said “that would be a great name for a movie.” Years later we found a perfect fit.
It turns out that, despite being primarily a comedy, all of the actions scenes came at a cost to the cast’s health. “Throughout the fight scene in Red’s house in #PineappleExpress, I broke my finger and Danny McBride got his head cracked open when Franco hit him with the bong,” Rogen said. In another tweet he added, “I did 99% of my own stunts in #PineappleExpress, (which might explain all the injuries).” Rogen also revealed that, originally, he and James Franco played different roles.
Pineapple Express was released 10 years ago today and Seth Rogen took to Twitter to celebrate the occasion.