This Is The End Was Almost A Completely Different Movie Staring Seth Rogen And Brad Pitt

If you haven't seen "This Is The End," you're missing out on one of the best comedies from the 2010s. It stars Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel as themselves (or rather, exaggerated versions of themselves) attending a massive celeb-filled bash at James Franco's house. During the party, earthquakes split Los Angeles in half and people are raptured into heaven — leaving Rogen, Baruchel, Franco and others to survive demons and cannibals. It's a wonderful parody of celebrity culture and post-apocalyptic movies, and also marks the third collaboration between Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who wrote and directed "This Is The End" as well as "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express."

In the lead up to the release of "This Is The End," Rogen, Goldberg, and Craig Robinson (who stars in the film as himself) sat down with the Daily Californian to discuss the making of the film. During the interview, Rogen and Goldberg brought up their short film "Jay and Seth VS The Apocalypse" — which serves as the basis for "This Is The End." Rogen and Goldberg revealed that they had a certain actor in mind when developing "This Is The End," which could have completely changed its dynamic.


In the Daily Californian interview, Rogen and Goldberg reveal that their original pitch for "This Is The End" was even nuttier than the final product. In addition to featuring mutant ant-men (not the Paul Rudd kind, though Rudd does have a brief appearance in the film), they considered pairing up Rogen with other celebrities including Busta Rhymes and even Brad Pitt. Goldberg said that he and Rogen decided to go with the original idea but also combine elements from their new pitch — although they shifted from mutant ant-men to demons with disturbingly long phalluses:

"We'd always say, 'We wish we could make that into a movie. That would be a cool movie,' but we just couldn't figure out what the trick was that made it interesting, and we always had this other idea to have actors play themselves, which started off as 'Seth Rogen and Busta Rhymes vs. the Ant Man.' That was our first idea, and we were like 'Ah, maybe Busta Rhymes isn't the right guy. Maybe like, (Rogen) and Brad Pitt together playing themselves.' And then we were like, 'Ah, let's just work with our friends. We like working with our friends.' And then we realized, 'Wait! If we push these two ideas together, we have ourselves a pretty good story.'"

So we didn't get a Seth Rogen and Brad Pitt pairing in the movie — but celebrities like Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, and even The Backstreet Boys did have very funny cameos. 

Brad and Seth VS The Apocalypse

Introducing Pitt as a major character in "This Is The End" would have drastically upended the tone, especially when it comes to the interactions with Rogen. Part of the fun of the movie is how it's based on Rogen and Baruchel's real-life friendship; both fellow Canadian comedians, Baruchel is a nerdy and introverted fellow, while Rogen is more gregarious and outgoing (if still a bit geeky). Pitt's comedic roles — like "Mr & Mrs Smith," "Burn After Reading," and "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" — typically put the actor in the spotlight, and it's unlikely Rogen would have had the same easy chemistry with him as he did with his more low-key real-life friend, Baruchel.

"The Lost City," which opened in theaters on March 25, 2022, offers a glimpse into what "This Is The End" could have been like since Pitt plays the super capable Jack Trainer — who provides a contrast to would-be hero Alan (Channing Tatum). Maybe this is a sign that Rogen and Goldberg should revisit the idea of writing a comedy starring the action legend.