[SPOILERS for Sausage Party ahead.]
Screenwriting duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have continued to extend their raunchy (and often twisted) brand of entertainment to different genres and mediums alike, over the past decade. The Superbad and Pineapple Express writers have now directed an apocalyptic comedy (This Is the End) and a political satire (The Interview), in addition to having brought a decidedly non-mainstream comic book property to the small screen (Preacher) and co-written an R-Rated Disney/Pixar spoof, titled Sausage Party. It turns out the latter might even become a franchise, having already eclipsed its estimated $19 million production budget with its U.S. box office opening weekend take alone.
Sausage Party tells the tale of edible products (and a literal douche) at a grocery store called Shopwell's that discover the horrifying truth about what happens to them, upon being "chosen" by their "gods" (read: the store's customers). The theatrical cut of the film has a different ending than the in-progress cut of the animated movie screened at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The reason? Rogen, Goldberg and their collaborators decided they would rather save the original conclusion for a more in-depth exploration in the sequel(s).
The theatrical cut of Sausage Party ends with the main characters heading through a Stargate-like portal, in order to travel to another dimension - our world, in fact. Originally, Sausage Party ended with characters such as Frank the sausage (Rogen) and Sammy the bagel (Edward Norton) even meeting their voice actor counterparts, face to face. However, as Rogen explained to Fandango, he and the rest of the Sausage Party crew eventually decided that said premise would be better served by a full-blown followup movie instead:
"It's something we talk about, yeah. That's one of the reasons why we took away the [original] ending because we thought, well, if that was the first scene of the next movie it's probably not what you would want it to be, with them just seeing us and finding us basically. But the idea of a live-action/animated movie, like a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-style hybrid is also very exciting, mostly because Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one of my favorite movies of all time."
Rogen also teased that he and Goldberg have plans for other R-Rated animated films unrelated to Sausage Party:
"We have ideas for other R-rated animated movies that have nothing to do with Sausage Party, and we're hoping this goes well so we get to make them. And hopefully it won't take this long to make the next one because it won't take five years to convince someone to make it. The whole problem before was there was no precedent for it, so hopefully [Sausage Party] will show people that this is a viable thing to do... or it'll do the opposite and this will be the last R-rated animated movie that ever gets made!"
Sausage Party's original ending naturally begs comparison to the third act of The LEGO Movie, wherein the film's animated LEGO protagonist Emmet (Chris Pratt) finds his way into the real-world. Whereas LEGO Movie reveals that its animated characters are the creations of a young boy's imagination in the real-world (or are they?), Sausage Party goes further with its own meta-narrative twist - as its characters discover that they, in fact, cartoon characters created by flesh and blood humans. It's a concept that, if nothing else, would make for an off-beat followup to the equally weird original Sausage Party movie.
It's also been a while since there was a live-action/CGI hybrid quite in the vein of what Rogen is talking about with the Sausage Party sequel - one where (a la Roger Rabbit) the animated characters are literally supposed to be animated and not an organic part of the real world (a la the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, The Smurfs movies, and so forth). Then again, with all the other odd places they've taken their brand already, it's perhaps appropriate that Rogen and Goldberg should want to explore a movie along those lines in the future. And if Sausage Party's box office returns are any indication, they may very well get the chance to.
Sausage Party is now playing in U.S. theaters.