Screenwriter/actor Seth Rogen and his filmmaking buddy, Evan Goldberg, didn't invent terms like "bromance" or even the increasingly-popular "rapey," but their various scripts have established these words as common lingo that reflects the current zeitgeist. All you need to do to describe one of their projects - or a movie of a similar ilk - nowadays is to tell your friends "It's the Bro-version of a [Insert the appropriate genre] film," and they should have little trouble in grasping your meaning.
Rogen and Goldberg (as screenwriters) have played in many different sandboxes at this point, including a high school setting (Superbad), stoner action-comedy (Pineapple Express), costumed vigilante flick (Green Hornet), secret alien invasion in suburbia comedy (The Watch) and most recently the apocalypse genre (This is the End) - with mixed degrees of success, in terms of their overall filmography. The pair are now stepping into the realm of animation, with a decidedly not kid-friendly computer-animated 'toon called Sausage Party.
So, what will the destined-for-an-R-Rating Sausage Party be about? Well, lest your mind wander into the gutter right away, the plot will involve actual sausages... on an existential journey of discovery. If you prefer, here is the official synopsis:
Sausage Party is a raunchy animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is co-backing the project alongside Annapurna Pictures, which is Oracle heiress Megan Ellison's banner that focuses on producing autuerial (read: high-art) fare - like P.T. Anderson's The Master and Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers - in addition to such Academy-friendly material as Zero Dark Thirty. Sausage Party, by the sound of it, will straddle the line between AP's upcoming slate of projects that are banking more on creative achievement over commercial prospects (see: Spike Jonze's Her) and its first venture into the realm of mainstream blockbuster entertainment with the Terminator (2015) reboot.
Rogen and Golberg are co-writing Sausage Party with This is the End executive producers Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir, based on an (credit where credit's due...) original screen story that the pair conceived alongside Superbad and This is the End costar Jonah Hill. Director responsibilities have been assigned to Conrad Vernon, who has a string of DreamWorks animated box office hits under his belt between Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens (featuring Rogen voicing the literally-brainless B.O.B.) and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
Here is a statement from Columbia President of Production, Hannah Minghella:
“We’re thrilled to be back in business with Seth and Evan. This project has all the irreverent, insightful and risqué R-rated humor we have come to expect from them. Matching their unique comic sensibility with an animated film is a fun and inspired idea. We are confident Seth, Evan, Conrad and Greg will deliver one of the most memorable animated movies of all time.”
Truth be told, it's kind of surprising that Rogen and Goldberg haven't made (at the least) an animated short with their brand of bro-tastic storytelling and crude humor already, for the reason that Minghella cites above. Having said that, excitement for Sausage Party among people in "Camp Rogen/Goldberg" is probably near-equal to the lack of excitement among the pair's detractors.
For my money, it's good to see that Sony is just making this 3D cartoon R-Rated, rather than try and effectively populate a kid-friendly framework with pop culture references and adult irony (The Smurfs franchise, looking at you). Be sure and let us know how you feel about Sausage Party in the comments section.
Sausage Party is tentatively slated to reach theaters by 2015.
Source: Sony/Columbia, Annapurna Pictures