Many of the basic teen comedy share many of the same qualities: lots of partying and crude humor. However, the comedy Superbad managed to take the simplistic formula and developed it into something more. Of course, the basic elements of teen comedy are still there but with the addition of better dialogue, unforgettable characters, and, at its heart, the idea of friendships being tested when we finally have to grow up.
Developed from the minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the two childhood friends brought to life elements of their own childhood to the big screen. Not only did the film capture the spirit of teen life-- it also helped start the careers of many of its young actors and actresses. Although they may have started with raunchy teen comedy roots, many of the stars of the movie have moved on to develop significant careers in Hollywood. Even over decade after its initial debut, fans still rewatch the film for its crazy situations and unforgettable one-liners. How could anyone forget name like McLovin?
We're taking a deeper look into the development of the film, from its conception to its final cut. We will share more little-known facts about the cast, surprising cameos, and the people who had a hand in creating the story. And you won’t believe who almost starred in the lead roles of the film either!
From big screen debuts to capturing the truth of real-life friendships, here are the 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of Superbad.
20 Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the film when they were 14
The movie gave a new twist to the typical teen comedy. However, the uniqueness of the script may be due to its authors, actor Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg.
These childhood friends actually began writing the script when they were children!
Rogen shared with IndieLondon that, "Well, myself and Evan Goldberg started writing it in high school when we were 14 years old, and a lot of that stuff actually happened. Countless little things in Superbad are based on actual things that happened." Talk about authenticity! Although many of the crazy situations weren’t true to life, we appreciate how the story about teenagers developed from the minds of teenagers.
19 Rogen was Originally Going to Play the Lead
With the best personal knowledge of how character Seth should be played, Rogen prepared to take on the lead role for his movie. However, when it came time for casting the film, he realized that he might not be the best choice after all. Given the process to write the script to the finalized filming took almost seven years, Rogen felt he outgrew the role.
Actor Jonah Hill accepted the role instead but had his hesitations as well. He stated, “I was always thought to be too old to play the character of Seth, as Seth Rogen was considered to be too old to play him and I’m only a year and a half younger than he is.” However, Hill, who was 23 at the time, still won the role of the 18-year-old character.
18 McLovin Had To Have His Mom On Set With Him
On the opposite side of the casting spectrum, newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse was an actual teenager during the filming of Superbad.
At the age of 17, Mintz-Plasse would debut in his first acting role and his first onscreen role.
Although he was the perfect age to play Fogell, aka McLovin, his age became a factor when it came to filming some of the racier scenes. In particular, he had to shoot a love scene with character Nicola (played by actress Aviva Baumann). Because he was a minor, he actually had to have his mother on set while he filmed the scene. We can only imagine how awkward that scene would have been for any newbie actor, but add in your mom watching and it must have been even worse.
17 Michael Cera's Dance Moves In The Opening Credits
More and more directors have begun using the opening credit to not only set the tone for the movie but to get the audience immediately engrossed in the film. From eye-popping titles to incredible action sequences, the opening credits have become even more important than the first scene of the actual movie.
For Superbad, audiences were treated to the slick dance moves of Michael Cera. In an interview with Collider, he admitted that he improvised moves for more than an hour for the opening sequence, with the best parts used for the final cut. Cera recalled how he felt silly dancing for a straight hour but enjoyed the experience.
16 There Was Almost A Freaks and Geeks Reunion
Freaks and Geeks served as one of the earliest performances for actor Seth Rogen. Though the series only lasted for one season, it became a cult favorite with its fans. Many of stars of the series maintained their friendships over the years and also found fame beyond the show. When it came to the casting of Superbad, audiences were very close to having an impromptu Freaks and Geeks reunion.
Actors Jason Segel and Martin Starr read for the roles of Evan and McLovin respectively.
Unfortunately, once initial filming began, both actors were too old to portray the high schoolers. Too bad... Luckily, we still get frequent sightings of the old cast in other Apatow movies. We will never forget you, Freaks and Geeks.
15 Rogen's Dad Made A Cameo Appearance
We already talked about how the close relationships surrounding the making of Superbad helped to mold the film. From childhood friendships to familial help and support, the teen comedy definitely came from a place of love and treasured history. Adding to the family touch already imprinted on the film, Rogen's father, Mark, made a brief cameo in the film.
Remember the scene when Seth and Evan stumble into the yard of some kids camping in their backyard?
Well, the angry, bat welding dad in that scene is Rogen's father! His part served as his first and last role onscreen.
14 It was Emma Stone's first movie
Over the past few years, Emma Stone has truly made her mark in Hollywood as an easy-going, smart yet witty actress. Her style of delivery, expressive eyes, and casual persona have helped to make her a fan favorite in her films. Although she had become quite the A-list star from her roles in Easy A, The Amazing Spider-Man, and La La Land, her humble beginnings came with Superbad.
This was actually the first role in which she would appear on screen with her red hair, as she is actually a blonde in real life. The world came to know and love Stone for her portrayal of Jules in the film. She went from Superbad to an Oscar.
13 The Screenplay was Blacklisted
As Judd Apatow's reputation in Hollywood began to grow for his successful comedies, he found he was able to do more projects suited for his style. When the opportunity to produce Superbad became a possibility, he lept on it. Despite his popularity, he had issues getting a backer for the movie. His troubles were eased a little when the unproduced screenplay appeared on the 2006 Blacklist.
The script gained a lot for fans within the industry despite not being backed yet. This growing buzz along with the success of Talladega Nights helped Apatow finally get the movie made. Not only did Sony Pictures Entertainment agree to make Superbad but Pineapple Express as well.
12 The Origin of The Film's Title
On the tenth anniversary of the film, Seth Rogen took to Twitter to reveal some of the best behind-the-scenes details of the movie. Included in his series of tweets were details about their badge of honor for using one particularly harsh profanity for the first time in a movie and other tidbits of information. However, one particularly curious factoid concerned the development of the movie’s name.
Apparently, that bit of genius came from the mind of Rogen’s friend and The Santa Clause star Dave Krumholtz.
However, the inspiration didn’t come from a brainstorming session. In fact, it developed while partaking in some illegal substances in the infamous Oakwood apartments, a notable home for up-and-coming actors.
11 Rogen's mom contributed to McLovin's ending
One of the best secrets of Superbad stemmed from its origins. The story incorporated elements from Rogen's and Goldberg's real life. Although some of the situations were heavily exaggerated or entirely made up , many common elements including similar names and other, smaller details to keep the story tied to their history. The project itself became a representation of their formative years and added another connection to these childhood friends.
In fact, someone else close to Rogen also helped with the script: his own mother! According to his tweets shared on the tenth anniversary of the movie's debut, his mom came up with the ending for McLovin. In case you forgot, his story ended with an arrest, a Molotov cocktail, and some gunplay. Great job, Mom!
10 Dave Franco as Greg the Soccer Player
Emma Stone wasn’t the only newcomer to debut in Superbad. Another relatively unknown actor made a brief cameo in the film as well.
Actor Dave Franco debuted in Superbad in as "Greg the Soccer Player."
Though it was a small role, dedicated fans definitely remember his appearance in the film. It certainly didn’t hurt that Franco’s older brother, James, was friends with Rogen and had worked with him in the past on Freaks and Geeks. Hey, you have to start somewhere, right? With just small roles early in his career, Franco eventually moved on to take more significant parts on TV including Scrubs and Privileged. We will never forget where you started, Greg the Soccer Player.
9 Apatow wanted to make a sequel
After debuting in theaters in August 2007, Superbad went on to become one of the most popular films of that year. Critics and audiences fell for the ridiculous situations, unique characters, and fresh teen comedy humor. Hoping to bank on the success of the original film, Apatow expressed his interest in doing a sequel for the movie.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, he stated “I always wanted to do a sequel to Superbad, but I couldn’t convince anybody… The actors, no one with Superbad thought we should do another Superbad. But I wanted to do Superbad in college desperately, but no one would listen to me.” It seems like the actors were just happy with the way things ended. No Superbad 2, guys. Sorry.
8 Seth Rogen regrets the homophobic humor in the script
Superbad didn't hold back on the graphic content, crude humor, and immature antics if these teenage boys. Their journey to attend one of the biggest parties of the year involved plenty of awkward situations and downright gross outcomes. Throughout the course of the movie, plenty of crude and graphic language popped up in the dialogue. However, the writers also included several jokes and comments of a homophobic nature.
Since its release back in 2007, Rogen had publicly apologized for these moments and expressed regret for including them.
In an interview with The Guardian, he noted that Superbad was his most controversial comedy (at the time, it was 2016) and that their use of the homophobic language was “to some degree glamourising that type of language in a lot of ways”.
7 The movie inspired a catchphrase on Jersey Shore
The over-the-top antics of the cast of The Jersey Shore made the series an unexpected hit. Between the big hair, heavy tanning habits, and excessive partying, the series became a mainstay of MTV for several seasons. In fact, the series is making its triumphant return to the network, minus a few members of the original cast. Part of the fame of the show came from the many catchy phrases and sayings the cast came up with. However, one of the most famous ones, "DTF", actually came from Superbad.
During his tenth anniversary tweets for Superbad, Rogen stated that he confirmed with the cast that the DTF phrase came from his movie.
6 Eminem Sampled Superbad On His Album
Superbad went on to become a classic teen comedy, with audiences quoting lines from the film all the time. The movie became a significant part of pop culture thanks to its crude yet heartwarming look at high schoolers just trying to fit in. The film actually became a favorite of another substantial member of pop culture: rapper Eminem. He loved the film so much that he incorporated lines from the movie into his eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
The song “Brainless” actually used lines from the scene in the liquor store.
Actor Jonah Hill even told MTV News that, “Eminem says his favorite movie is Superbad, ever, of all time… He said if there was an award for best movie ever, he thinks Superbad should win."
5 How Michael Cera got his audition
If we have learned anything from the behind the scenes details of Superbad, it is that friendships can truly make a difference. From the close relationship between Rogen and Goldberg to the ties between former cast mates, Superbad proved that fostering the right connections can lead to great things.
In the case of Michael Cera’s involvement with the film, he got his break thanks to his friend, actor Jay Baruchel. Rogen remembered how Cera’s name came up in a conversation about the movie and how Baruchel bragged about his talent. The two young actors had just completed work on Fanboys, so Baruchel was quite familiar with his acting chops. Thankfully, Rogen gave the relatively unknown actor a chance, and he won the role.
4 The director kept his camera rolling to catch the non-stop improv
For many comedic movies that involve seasoned actors, some of the best moments happen spontaneously.
Ad-libbed dialogue or improvised scenes have often resulted in the perfect unexpected moment in a film.
Superbad director Greg Mottola followed that same philosophy onset, leaving the film rolling after a scene was completed.
Actor Jonah Hill recalled, "You could just shoot all day. It was so awesome. Like any idea, anything you wanted to try, it wasn’t a waste of money or like time to shoot it... I think Greg took a lot of stuff that were like in-between takes and stuff or like reactions or things of us hanging out because they could just keep shooting what they could use in the movie."
3 Judd Apatow Billed Himself As "The Producer of Superbad" Before the Movie Came Out
Producer Judd Apatow and Rogen have certainly had a long-standing professional relationship and real-life-friendship. Since their Freaks and Geeks days, the two have worked on numerous projects together, including the very successful film Knocked Up. However, thanks to the buzz surrounding the upcoming Superbad film, Apatow decided to take advantage of the interest and began advertising for the film in a unique way.
For his trailers for other films, his production team began adding the billing “the producer of Superbad” prior to the movie’s release! Apatow was so confident in the film that he used this prelease buzz to his advantage. How clever! The billing was added to trailers for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Drillbit Taylor.
2 Apatow drew inspiration from Rogen and Goldberg’s relationship
Although the heart of the film derived from real-life events, many of the elements of the film simply came from brainstorming hilarious situations. Even if the circumstances weren't true to life, the final movie became one of the biggest films of 2007. However, in terms of real-life inspirations, Apatow found himself inspired by the real-life friendship between Rogen and Goldberg and their time in college.
Goldberg shared with Reelz that, “Maybe Judd got the idea kind of because I was at McGill University in Montreal, Seth was here, and we were growing apart... "Although the two were never anxious about being apart at separate colleges, the idea was still incorporated into the plot.
1 Maniac is a Superbad Reunion
The new Netflix series Maniac developed as an adaptation of the Norwegian of the same name. Premiering on September 21, 2018, the series has been heralded for its production, visuals, and the excellent work of the actors of the series. However, if you look at the two stars being praised highly for the series, you will see two very familiar faces from Superbad.
Emma Stone and Jonah Hill lead the series in the roles of Annie Landsberg and Owen Milgrim, respectively. Long gone are the days of immature humor as both stars have developed serious acting chops since the teen comedy debuted. However, we can’t help but feel like this is a mini Superbad reunion with the young stars having grown up since their youthful beginnings.
Do you have other trivia to share about Superbad? Let us know in the comments!