After Superbad, you and Evan had no trouble getting your scripts produced. But what launched you into directing, and how hard was it convincing someone to give you a shot?
Rogen: It was harder than we thought it was going to be. The Green Hornet was the movie that did it. If you asked us during Pineapple Express if we wanted to be directors, we would have said no -- we liked being writers and working with these directors. But then Green Hornet was the most complicated movie you could possibly make on a technical level. It had everything. It had giant practical effects, huge sets, giant crowd scenes, car chases, tons of CG, fight scenes. It had things that I literally just didn't understand how they did them in movies, because we made small $20 million comedies, and I was never even exposed to that stuff.
Then, seeing that from start to finish and being there every step of the way was what made me and Evan think, "We can do this." There are few things that could stand in our way, like on a technical level. Few things can come up at this point that we have not dealt with in some way on that movie, which was not the easiest movie to make. So, you know, there are tons of issues and problems we were being exposed to in pretty rough conditions a lot of the time.
We wanted Sam Raimi to be a producer [on This Is the End]. We sent him the script, and he really liked it. We had decided to direct it, but we weren't confident enough to not have someone godfathering the process. Making a horror comedy, we were inspired by him and huge fans of his and we thought maybe he would be a producer on the movie and he would help shepherd us. We met with him and showed him all our stuff, and we had concept art and storyboarding and rough pre-viz for some of the action sequences. He was like, "You don't need me. Just go do it. You seem quite prepared for this." Like, just do it. That was one of the reason we felt comfortable just going and doing it: "If Sam Raimi thinks we can do it, then yeah."
Also, before that point, we could never have looked at ourselves and said, "We're the only people who could direct [any of our scripts]." But then when we wrote This Is the End, we were like, "We are the only people who could make this movie." Largely because we're the only people all these actors will actually listen to and feel comfortable enough doing this with. I don't think they would have done it with anybody else, and the fact that I am one of them made it easier to bridge discomfort, because I was doing it too. It eased whatever problems there would have been… I'm always thanking them. I feel fortunate that these people I think are so talented trust us with these crazy things.