Log in or sign up for Rotten Tomatoes

Trouble logging in?

By continuing, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes.

By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and to receive email from the Fandango Media Brands .

By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes.

Email not verified

Let's keep in touch.

Rotten Tomatoes Newsletter

Sign up for the Rotten Tomatoes newsletter to get weekly updates on:

  • Upcoming Movies and TV shows
  • Trivia & Rotten Tomatoes Podcast
  • Media News + More

By clicking "Sign Me Up," you are agreeing to receive occasional emails and communications from Fandango Media (Fandango, Vudu, and Rotten Tomatoes) and consenting to Fandango's Privacy Policy and Terms and Policies . Please allow 10 business days for your account to reflect your preferences.

OK, got it!

Movies / TV

No results found.

  • What's the Tomatometer®?
  • Login/signup

in the end james franco

Movies in theaters

  • Opening this week
  • Top box office
  • Coming soon to theaters
  • Certified fresh movies

Movies at home

  • Netflix streaming
  • Amazon prime
  • Most popular streaming movies
  • What to Watch New

Certified fresh picks

  • The Promised Land Link to The Promised Land
  • Fitting In Link to Fitting In
  • Orion and the Dark Link to Orion and the Dark

New TV Tonight

  • The Second Best Hospital in The Galaxy: Season 1
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Season 1
  • Constellation: Season 1
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Season 3
  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 11
  • James Brown: Say It Loud: Season 1

Most Popular TV on RT

  • The Tourist: Season 2
  • Masters of the Air: Season 1
  • Tokyo Vice: Season 2
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Season 1
  • Griselda: Season 1
  • Halo: Season 2
  • True Detective: Season 4
  • Best TV Shows
  • Most Popular TV
  • TV & Streaming News
  • Prime Video

Certified fresh pick

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 12 Link to Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 12
  • All-Time Lists
  • Binge Guide
  • Comics on TV
  • Five Favorite Films
  • Video Interviews
  • Weekend Box Office
  • Weekly Ketchup
  • What to Watch

Best Horror Movies of 2024 Ranked – New Scary Movies to Watch

37 Worst Superhero Movies of All Time

Black Heritage

Golden Tomato Awards: Best Movies & TV of 2023

The Madame Web Cast on Driving Ambulances and 2000s Fashion

TV Premiere Dates 2024

  • Trending on RT
  • Play Movie Trivia
  • Best Horror Movies 2024
  • All Spidey Movies Ranked
  • Dune: Part Two Reactions

This Is the End

2013, Comedy/Fantasy, 1h 47m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch this is the end.

Rent This Is the End on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, or buy it on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu.

Rate And Review

Super Reviewer

Rate this movie

Oof, that was Rotten.

Meh, it passed the time.

It’s good – I’d recommend it.

So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

What did you think of the movie? (optional)

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

Step 2 of 2

How did you buy your ticket?

Let's get your review verified..

AMCTheatres.com or AMC App New

Cinemark Coming Soon

We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

Regal Coming Soon

Theater box office or somewhere else

By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie.

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

This is the end videos, this is the end   photos.

In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are his buddies Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson. Suddenly, an apocalypse of biblical proportions erupts, causing untold carnage among Tinseltown's elite and trapping Franco's party in his home. As the world they knew disintegrates outside, cabin fever and dwindling supplies threaten to tear the six friends apart.

Rating: R (Crude and Sexual Content|Brief Graphic Nudity|Drug Use|Pervasive Language|Some Violence)

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Original Language: English

Director: Seth Rogen , Evan Goldberg

Producer: Seth Rogen , Evan Goldberg , James Weaver

Writer: Seth Rogen , Evan Goldberg

Release Date (Theaters): Jun 12, 2013  wide

Rerelease Date (Theaters): Sep 6, 2013

Release Date (Streaming): Feb 1, 2015

Box Office (Gross USA): $101.5M

Runtime: 1h 47m

Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Production Co: Point Grey, Mandate Pictures

Sound Mix: Datasat, SDDS, Dolby Digital

Cast & Crew

James Franco

Jay Baruchel

Danny McBride

Craig Robinson

Michael Cera

Emma Watson

Mindy Kaling

David Krumholtz

Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Martin Starr

Channing Tatum

Aziz Ansari

Samantha Ressler

Douglas M. Griffin

Father in Store

Evan Goldberg

Screenwriter

James Weaver

Nathan Kahane

Executive Producer

Nicole Brown

Jason Stone

Barbara A. Hall

Ariel Shaffir

Kyle Hunter

Brandon Trost

Cinematographer

Chris Spellman

Production Design

Film Editing

Henry Jackman

Original Music

Francine Maisler

Danny Glicker

Costume Design

William Ladd Skinner

Art Director

News & Interviews for This Is the End

New on Netflix in September 2022

James Franco’s 10 Best Movies

Jonah Hill’s Best Movies

Critic Reviews for This Is the End

Audience reviews for this is the end.

Plenty of banter between contemporary comedy stars. The cameos from other stars and "how they are in real life" especially Michael Cera was hilarious. This movie is very enjoyable if you like the "Apatow brand" of humor. Check it out.

in the end james franco

Think about the premise (actors playing themselves and dying as themselves in an apocalyptic end of the world event) what you want: there is promise it in. But when you kill off the majority of the cameos right in the beginning and then have the usual suspects have the usual dialog in a rather bleak apartment situation over and over, things do get a little tiresome after a while. While the final twist is surprisingly optimistic, the Backstreet Boys dancing in heaven is a certain way to kill a film ending. Stupid.

"This Is the End" starts with Seth Rogen picking up his good friend Jay Baruchel at the airport. They quickly put to rest Seth's macrobiotic diet in favor of some fast food. After which, they hang out, play video games and smoke some weed. But Jay doesn't feel like going to a party at James Franco's, even as Seth talks him into it. They don't stay long, opting to buy some booze on their own. And that's when the world ends. If you can only watch one comedy about the rapture featuring Craig Robinson, then definitely go with the entertaining "This Is the End" which makes the most of its semi-limited budget to create some very memorable imagery. In general, the movie takes aim at the notion of celebrity with the cast playing alternate versions of themselves that are not to be taken seriously. However, it does confirm the worst suspicions about Danny McBride while giving the viewer a more pseudo-intellectual James Franco than previously thought possible. Otherwise, the in-jokes do not really work. Instead the movie is very meaningful when it comes to exploring the bonds of friendship.

This Is the End, somewhat ironically, falls apart at the end, but its tear-inducing, hysterical first-two-thirds ensure that it's a comedic delight, brought to life by some of the most brilliant improvisation in cinematic memory.

Movie & TV guides

Play Daily Tomato Movie Trivia

Awards Tour

Discover What to Watch

Rotten Tomatoes Podcasts

Movie Reviews

Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, this is the end.

in the end james franco

Now streaming on:

Back in my Baptist church–going younger days, I sang about Heaven and heard sermon after sermon about Hell. "He-yell," as the good Reverend called it, was waiting for non-believers and unrepentant sinners. I must have been the latter, because my Mom constantly warned I was "going to Hell with my eyes wide open!" My 8-year old brain conjured up images of falling into a vivid, nightmarish pit of fire and brimstone, my eyes bigger than Marty Feldman's, only to discover that everybody I knew was down there too, including my beloved Mommy. "Well, look who's here!" I'd say with a smirk. Mom always responded by literally slapping the Hell out of me.

I thought of these childhood visions of eternal damnation while watching Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's apocalyptic horror-comedy "This Is The End." Making their directorial debut, the duo who brought you " Superbad " send celebrity after celebrity to the Devil's doorstep courtesy of huge, fiery sinkholes that open in the Hollywood hills. These folks deserve it too, for sins far greater than anything a little nappy-headed boy from Jersey could have done in his childhood. Michael Cera , for example, plays an out of control drug fiend who has three-ways in James Franco's bathroom. Rihanna sings dirty songs with Craig Robinson . Everyone else with a famous pedigree is as debauched as the subjects Kenneth Anger chronicled in "Hollywood Babylon." Since there's no room for the hopeless sinner, into the void most of these entertainers go. Lucky non-celebs receive heavenly beams of light that rapture them into Heaven.

Left behind to suffer on Earth is the Judd Apatow Justice League of Actors: Jonah Hill , Jay Baruchel , Danny McBride , Robinson, Franco and Rogen. All play exaggerated, comically depraved versions of themselves. They survive because their directors wanted to hang out with them under the guise of making a movie. But rather than turn "This is the End" into a vanity project where the actors have more fun than their viewing audience, Rogen and Goldberg invite us to partake in their funny-scary lunacy. As the world ends around them, the actors offer a sweet yet biting peek into their platonic relationships. Sending up their tabloid-based persona, "This is the End" offers each a chance to mock and be mocked. The result is far more entertaining (and far gorier) than the commercials led me to believe.

The pre-Apocalypse setup finds Baruchel visiting his best friend Rogen in Los Angeles. After an amusingly sped up montage of stoner humor, Rogen asks Baruchel to join him at their mutual colleague and friend James Franco's house. Baruchel doesn't want to go, because Jonah Hill will be there, but Rogen convinces him otherwise. Franco's oddly-shaped house, where most of the film takes place, is an imaginative piece of set design. With its phallic sculptures, arty paintings, concrete floors, hidden closets and multiple windows, the house becomes a character of its own, eagerly anticipating each horrible visitor who stops by for mischief. The first of said visitors is the one guy nobody invited, Danny McBride. McBride quickly establishes why he was left off the list by displaying the personality one would expect from the star of "Eastbound and Down."

While Rogen and company take every opportunity to inject humor into their trials and tribulations, "This Is The End" plays the Rapture itself rather straight. The first sequence of the Apocalypse is very well done, with Rogen and Baruchel running directly into chaos. These scenes have a jittery, queasy panic as the directors follow the action with steady camerawork and editing. People die horrible deaths (Michael Cera's wage of sin is a particularly gruesome paycheck) and while James Franco's house makes for a comically rendered safe haven, the filmmakers assure us it's only temporary. Food and water become scarce, and the attitudes inside the house become almost as hostile as the world outside its doors.

"This is the End" finds a balanced tone most horror comedies fail to deliver. Grossout humor melds easily with grossout horror, sometimes at the same moment. The obvious nods to " The Exorcist " and "Rosemary's Baby" co-exist with a hilarious examination of the familiar dynamics of a group of friends. There's a leader (Rogen), a troublemaker (McBride), people who pretend to like one another but don't (Hill and Baruchel), the cool, arty one (Franco) and the all-around nice guy (Robinson). "This Is the End" reminds us of our own circle of friends and the occasional drama that surrounds them. Regardless of the situation, those with a casual comfort around one another always fall back on group-defined roles, routines and conflicts. Not even the end of days will stop Rogen's friends from ribbing him about " The Green Hornet ," nor will it prevent Jonah Hill from taking shots about his post-Oscar nomination film choices. And nothing ends a grudge like good old-fashioned demonic possession.

As they did with "Superbad," Rogen and Goldberg add a layer of emotional sweetness that sneaks up on you, diluting the raunchiness and giving the film a greater purpose than mere shock value. Even at the lowest moments of terror and hilarity, there's an undercurrent of hope and redemption for those who seek it. This is a refreshing change from the spate of recent comedies where meanness alone passes for character development and humor. 

Still, be aware that this is a rather hard-R rated comedy. In addition to the fiery pits and the gore, the F/X team provides demons both CGI and human-based (one is clearly a guy in a suit), two very well endowed iterations of Old Scratch, a destroyed Hollywood that Roland Emmerich would envy and a final, blisteringly white final sequence I wouldn't dare spoil for you. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the funny, suspenseful and ultimately jubilant "This is the End," though I imagine for some viewers it'll be the equivalent of an eyes-wide-open descent into He-yell. You know who you are.

Odie Henderson

Odie Henderson

Odie "Odienator" Henderson has spent over 33 years working in Information Technology. He runs the blogs Big Media Vandalism and Tales of Odienary Madness. Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire  here .

Now playing

in the end james franco

Willie and Me

Matt zoller seitz.

in the end james franco

Clint Worthington

in the end james franco

Brian Tallerico

in the end james franco

Inshallah a Boy

Marya e. gates.

in the end james franco

Lisa Frankenstein

Tomris laffly.

in the end james franco

This Is Me…Now: A Love Story

Film credits.

This Is the End movie poster

This Is the End (2013)

Jonah Hill as Jonah Hill

James Franco as James Franco

Jay Baruchel as Jay Baruchel

Craig Robinson as Craig Robinson

Jason Segel as Jason Segel

Danny McBride as Danny McBride

Seth Rogen as Seth Rogen

Rihanna as Rihanna

Emma Watson as Emma Watson

Mindy Kaling as Mindy Kaling

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Paul Rudd as Paul Rudd

  • Evan Goldberg
  • Jason Stone

Latest blog posts

in the end james franco

Berlin Film Festival 2024: Small Things Like These, Crossing, Cuckoo

in the end james franco

America’s Greatest Threat? A New Documentary Argues It’s Christian Nationalism

in the end james franco

Spirit Awards 2024: A Platform for Essential Independent Films

in the end james franco

Our Opinion of Crossroads Hasn’t Changed, Our Feelings About Britney Spears Have

an image, when javascript is unavailable

The Definitive Voice of Entertainment News

Subscribe for full access to The Hollywood Reporter

site categories

This is the end: film review.

James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and their friends play themselves in the apocalyptic horror comedy.

By Todd McCarthy

Todd McCarthy

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Flipboard
  • Share this article on Email
  • Show additional share options
  • Share this article on Linkedin
  • Share this article on Pinit
  • Share this article on Reddit
  • Share this article on Tumblr
  • Share this article on Whatsapp
  • Share this article on Print
  • Share this article on Comment

This Is the End: Film Review

This Is The End McBride Rogen Franco Dancing - H 2013

The seemingly exhausted gross-out comedy genre gets a strange temporary reprieve with This Is the End , an unlikable but weirdly compelling apocalyptic fantasy in which a bunch of young stars and stars-by-affiliation jokingly imagine their own mortality. A sort-of The Day of the Locust centered on successful comic actors, rather than down-and-outers, facing a conflagration in Los Angeles, this is a dark farce that’s simultaneously self-deprecating, self-serving, an occasion to vent about both friends and rivals and to fret about self-worth in a cocooned environment. With everyone here officially playing themselves, the result is like a giant home movie and a reality horror show, different enough from anything that’s come before to score with young audiences.

Related Stories

Amy schumer on autism, antisemitism and pulling from her marriage for 'life & beth' season 2, michael cera says ben affleck was supposed to make a cameo during 'barbie' fight scene.

With the Hangover series outliving its welcome, Judd Apatow moving on to quasi-serious stuff and Johnny-come-latelies like 21 & Over and Movie 43 falling short, outrageous comedies aren’t what they used to be a few years back. Early on in This Is the End, James Franco and Seth Rogen explore story ideas for a possible Pineapple Express sequel, but it’s hard to know, five years on, what the public appetite would be even for that.

The Bottom Line The stars play themselves in an apocalyptic comic-horror picture show.

PHOTOS: 26 of Summer’s Most Anticipated Movies: ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Wolverine,’ ‘The Lone Ranger’

Instead, Rogen and co-writer/co-director Evan Goldberg reached back to 2007 for inspiration, to a nine-minute short they and Jason Stone made called Seth and Jay Versus the Apocalypse . It is said to have cost $3,000 and starred five of the six main actors from the present feature — Rogen, Jay Baruchel , Franco, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride . The full short was never shown publicly, only the 85-second trailer, which looks very low-rent indeed.

The central conceit is that this is film about showbiz’s young and privileged that’s supposedly being honest about their sense of entitlement, their access to constant sex, drugs and money, neuroses and special bonds both professional and personal. This isn’t Franco and Rogen and Michael Cera and everyone else playing characters getting completed trashed on coke and weed, this is movie in which audiences can get off seeing actual movie stars behaving like stupid rich frat boys. At least that’s the sense of special access This Is the End is purporting to afford the eager viewer.

The occasion is a housewarming party at Franco’s dazzling new house (“Designed it myself” the famously multitasking actor-writer-director-grad student modestly points out). In the film’s geographically eccentric scheme of things (it was shot on a set in Louisiana), the modernist mansion is just down the way from the Hollywood sign and yet within easy walking distance of convenience stores. The first 15 minutes are crammed with pretty funny party banter, star sightings —  Emma Watson , Rihanna , Mindy Kaling , Cera getting serviced by two babes at the same time — and the overweening discomfort of Baruchel, who’s come down from Canada to visit his best bud Rogen and outdoes Woody Allen in his expressions of distaste for L.A. and the people who live there, especially the hated Hill, with whom he’s now obliged to hang.

PHOTOS: 19 Movies for the End of the World

But in a startling manner as if co-devised by Nathaniel West and Irwin Allen, a Biblical-scaled disaster strikes in the form of explosions, rumblings, the ground opening up, fires raging, cars crashing and shafts of light beaming down from the heavens. Los Angeles is burning and many guests are swallowed up by a lava-filled sink-hole while others flee into the acrid night. In the end, those left in the seeming sanctuary of Franco’s crib are Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Craig Robinson and Franco, who arms himself with a World War I-vintage pistol left over from Flyboys .

The cuddly sleeping arrangements assumed by the terrified man-boys cues plenty of predictable innuendo, and the morning brings a set of surprises, beginning with the presence of McBride, who wasn’t even invited to the party. Soon Watson barges in from the outside world, which she reports has been invaded by zombies, but she quickly decides to take her chances there rather than remain in the house once she overhears the guys discussing “the rapey vibe” the six men/one woman situation has introduced.

Hunkering down into survivalist mode, the guys keep joking around but also get serious: McBride’s the abrasive misfit, inviting expulsion from the house by selfishly flouting rations restrictions, while Baruchel goes seriously scriptural, devotedly reading the Book of Revelation and announcing that, “I think it’s the apocalypse.”

VIDEO: Seth Rogen’s Star-Studded ‘This Is the End’ Red-Band Trailer Debuts

Taking this one step further, Hill becomes a red-eyed demon requiring exorcism, an interlude that becomes its own little movie prior to a monster-and-effects-dominated climax in which a bunch of nice Jewish boys dwell, in an iconographically heavily Christian way, on whether or not they are worthy of redemption after the conspicuously secular, hedonistic but still guilt-ridden way they’ve lived their lives.

So This Is the End goes places you don’t expect it to, exploring the guys’ rifts and doubts and misgivings just as it wallows in an extravagant lifestyle that inevitably attracts public fascination. It also expresses the anxiety and insecurity of comics conscious of the big issues in life they are expected either to avoid or make fun of in their work. Rogen and Goldberg take the latter approach here, in an immature but sometimes surprisingly upfront way one can interpret seriously. Or not.

Opens: Wednesday, June 12 (Columbia Pictures/Sony) Production: Point Grey, Mandate Pictures Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz , Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Martin Starr , Paul Rudd , Channing Tatum , Kevin Hart , Aziz Ansari Directors: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Screenwriters: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, based on the short film Seth and Jay Versus the Apocalypse by Jason Stone Producers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver Executive producers: Nathan Kahane, Nicole Brown, Jason Stone, Barbara A. Hall, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter Director of photography: Brandon Trost Production designer: Chris Spellman Costume designer: Danny Glicker Editor: Zene Baker Music: Henry Jackman R rating, 107 minutes

THR Newsletters

Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day

More from The Hollywood Reporter

Roger federer doc by director asif kapadia set at prime video, berlin: mubi takes scorsese-narrated ‘made in england’ in multi-territory deal, animated ‘butterfly tale,’ featuring voice of tatiana maslany, lands at signature for u.k., ireland (exclusive), santa barbara film fest: jeffrey wright collects montecito award, says ‘american fiction’ helped him “rebuild” after tough personal time, ‘saltburn’ and ‘maestro’ both collect pair of make-up artists and hair stylists guild awards, french writer christine angot on confronting incest in her filmmaking debut, ‘a family’.

Quantcast

Advertisement

Supported by

Movie Review

Whoa, the Apocalypse. We’re Still Buds, Right?

  • Share full article

in the end james franco

By A.O. Scott

  • June 11, 2013

“This Is the End” — in more ways than one. The premise of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new movie — a foul-mouthed, good-natured “Funny or Die” sketch stretched to feature length and garnished with special effects — is that the apocalypse is here. As a bunch of funny guys gather at a party in Los Angeles, events foretold in the Book of Revelation come to pass. The righteous are raptured up to heaven, while the rest (or at least most of the famous people in Hollywood) are swallowed up in fiery pits that open up in the ground, or pursued by scaly, oily, horned demons with enormous genitals.

The end of the world is a hot topic at the movies these days, and there is no shortage of commentary linking this trend to anxiety about global warming, economic crisis, overconsumption and other scary real-life phenomena. But the allegorical significance of “This Is the End” may lie closer to home, in the creative exhaustion of its makers and the popular, profitable strain of humor they represent. The film, at its phoned-in worst and also at its riotous best, has a terminal feeling. It suggests that a comic subgenre based on the immaturity, sexual panic and self-mocking tendencies of men who should be old enough to know better has reached its expiration date.

This is not to say that there will be no more movies in which a bunch of dudes smoke weed, crack wise and give voice to their blatant terror of women and their covert homoerotic longings. As long as those things keep happening in the world, they will find expression in movies and on television. But maybe with diminishing insight and increasing cynicism. “The Hangover Part III,” which recently wrapped up the least self-aware, most lucrative cycle of contemporary man-child comedies, is already a zombie, a brain-dead thing kept in frenzied motion by autonomic reflexes and instinctive appetites, mostly for your money.

“This Is the End” is quite a bit better than “The Hangover Part III,” and in places it is genuinely, even sublimely hilarious. Why shouldn’t it be? It assembles a talented, quick-tongued bunch of performers and happily dispenses with the pretense that they are playing anything other than themselves. The fake-doc aesthetic that rules so much television these days is used to witty effect as we are invited to hang out with Mr. Rogen, James Franco and some other famous pals, whose lives turn out to be exactly what we might have expected, based on some of their earlier movies.

Seth — I’ll dispense with honorifics when referring to the characters; we’re all buds around here — is insecure and eager to please. James is a little on the pretentious side, which kind of bothers Jay (Baruchel), who has come to California to visit Seth. Their friendship stretches back to younger days in Canada, and Jay doesn’t really get along with the Hollywood crowd Seth has been running with since his career took flight under the wing of Judd Apatow. Nonetheless, after a blissful, bro-y day spent getting high and playing video games, Seth drags Jay to a party at James’s house, which serves as a Brueghel-esque tableau of modern celebrity. There’s Rihanna! And Paul Rudd! Jason Segel! Michael Cera!

Also Jonah (Hill) and Craig (Robinson), who, along with Jay, Seth and James, make up a hardy band of survivors when the divine wrath really hits the fan. They are joined eventually by Danny (McBride) and Emma (Watson), who is around long enough to make you realize that the Harry Potter movies were basically a British version of “Freaks and Geeks” and to raise a question that has been burning up the Internet for years: can rape jokes ever be funny?

“This Is the End” suggests that they can at least sometimes be harmless, and as crude as the movie’s humor often is, its spirit is sweet, sensitive and innocuous. In their script for “Superbad,” Mr. Rogen and Mr. Goldberg zeroed in on the tenderness and vulnerability that lie at the heart of male friendship, and here they go even further, using the prospect of global annihilation as an occasion for some touchy-feely relationship workshopping.

The engine driving the plot — apart from the biblical apocalypse, which is as literal a deus ex machina as you could wish for — is Jay’s jealousy. He resents Seth’s new friends, and perhaps also his greater success. Once the two of them are locked in James’s gaudy, modernist Hollywood mansion, this issue continues to simmer, and is intensified by the personality quirks of the other survivors. Craig’s moodiness, Jonah’s passive-aggressive tendencies, James’s arrogance and Danny’s jovial lack of consideration cause friction that is, notwithstanding the fireballs and murderous demons, quite realistic. So, in a way, are the squabbles that ensue, including an angry debate between James and Danny on the ethics of ejaculating on someone else’s stuff.

That conversation — which made me laugh louder than just about anything since the naked wrestling match in “Borat” — may be a metaphor for the rivalry and intimacy that bond youngish, Y-chromosome-endowed actors and comedians these days. But a deeper and more troubling metaphor may be the house itself, which represents the limitations of an insular, exclusive and increasingly self-cannibalizing comic imagination. The problem is not that Seth and Jay and the rest are still rolling joints and trying out naughty material on one another in the comfort of their ever-larger and plusher homes. The problem is that they seem to be motivated, more and more, by professional duty and brand awareness. Solipsism has turned into shtick, and their childish interest in themselves betrays a confining lack of curiosity about anything else.

I think they know it’s time to move on, and “This Is the End” is both a protest against, and an acknowledgment of, this reality. Mr. Rogen and Mr. Goldberg — and their on-screen co-conspirators and alter egos — would rather blow up the whole world than grapple with the existence of women, children, death, politics, responsibility, homosexuality and other fertile subjects for laughter. But I’m confident that eventually they will deal with all of it. They’re good boys, much as they like to pretend otherwise.

“This Is the End” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Drug and penis humor.

Explore More in TV and Movies

Not sure what to watch next we can help..

The streaming platform Tubi may be best known for its selection of bad movies, characterized by low-budget aesthetics, horrible acting and worse special effects. But boy are they fun to watch .

The Netflix documentary “The Greatest Night in Pop” revels in nostalgia, spotlighting the relationships between the pop superstars who recorded “We Are the World.”

Jon Stewart returned to “The Daily Show,”  the Comedy Central news satire he turned into a cultural force before leaving in August 2015, but you might not like what he has to tell you, our critic writes .

Francesca Sloane, the showrunner of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” based on the 2005 film of the same name, has made the movie’s famously flawless heroes fallible  in the new Amazon series.

If you are overwhelmed by the endless options, don’t despair — we put together the best offerings   on Netflix , Max , Disney+ , Amazon Prime  and Hulu  to make choosing your next binge a little easier.

Sign up for our Watching newsletter  to get recommendations on the best films and TV shows to stream and watch, delivered to your inbox.

To revisit this article, select My Account, then   View saved stories

Find anything you save across the site in your account

James Franco and the All-Star Cast of This Is the End

By Amy Wallace

Photography by Terry Richardson

Image may contain Arm Human Person and James Franco

The question was simple: What's the biggest movie they could make with the smallest budget? The answer, once they hit on it, seemed genius: a story about the end of the world, shot mostly in one room. The resulting short, made back in 2006, starred Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, and it was such a blast to make that soon the idea took hold: Let's turn it into a feature film! And let's cast all our friends in it, playing themselves!

Today, the filmmakers admit to ill-advised hubris. "We really thought this was the one time where movie studios were going to be like, 'We get it! We're totally in!' " recalls writer-director Evan Goldberg. But instead of a bidding war, says Rogen, who co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in the film, "we were hit with a wave of resistance that was pretty remarkable." The very conceit that Rogen and Goldberg found so appealing—a bunch of famous people go to a party at James Franco's house as the world ends—made corporate Hollywood nervous. Would moviegoers get it?

The result is one of our favorite comedies in a long, long time. This Is the End plays on many levels—"part meta-satire," as Baruchel puts it, "part group therapy." The cast members were encouraged to go off script, spoofing one another's images and their own with glee. "If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I play myself in every movie, I wouldn't have to act in movies anymore," says Rogen. "I wouldn't have to play myself in movies anymore! This lets us be in on the joke, you know?"

"As Handsome As James Franco Is, You Want to Look at Someone Else Eventually"

James Franco: Seth and Evan always had this idea that it would be our friends, our group. And then there would be one actor from Harry Potter , for some reason.

Evan Goldberg: We only asked friends or people who we just took to be cool. Like, we read online that one of Rihanna's favorite movies is Pineapple Express , so we were like, "Oh, she likes our movie. Let's give her a try."

Seth Rogen: Pretty much everyone we went for did it, unless there was a scheduling problem. We got people to do shit in this movie I can't fucking believe they did. It's truly shocking.

Aziz Ansari: Seth and Evan said, "Aziz, you want to die in our apocalypse movie?" I said, "Yes."

Kevin Hart: They said, "Kevin, we want you to be a part of this project, and we promise we will break protocol and not kill you first as the black guy in this movie."

Mindy Kaling: It was a three-minute phone call. I was going to be paid to fake-socialize at a decadent fake–James Franco house party and then fake-die. I have one of the better bloodcurdling screams in Hollywood, if I may say. When am I going to be able to showcase that in my various observational-comedy TV programs? Never. I was psyched.

Michael Cera: I thought the script was really funny. So I called Evan, and he and Seth were in the middle of having dinner with Barbra Streisand, so he had to get back to the table, as you can imagine. I told him, "Yeah, I'll do it." It was that easy.

Rogen: You know, as handsome as James Franco is, you want to look at someone else eventually. So we thought it could be funny to throw in a random person that we're not that comfortable with, and Emma [Watson] just seemed to fit the bill. It was a long shot. I did not think she would do it, but she did, and she's fucking hilarious.

Franco: My guess is it was probably really difficult for her, because she comes in, in the middle, and she's the only woman [with more than a brief cameo]. She was coming into a very male dynamic, among a bunch of guys who not only had been working together for almost a decade but had been working on these parts for over a month. She had to infiltrate that. Seth was really good about making her feel comfortable. But I did get the sense that she'd never done a movie like this before. I mean, she really went for it, but I could see that it was like, "Oh, this is not how they shot Harry Potter ."

Emma Watson: [Declined to comment.]

"We're Playing the Moronic Versions of Ourselves"

Goldberg: The studio just had a few notes on the script. You know, "Maybe not this many cum jokes in this section." We're like, "Yeah, we hear that. We'll get some non-cum options."

Franco: It must have been a tricky writing process, because what they were dealing with is "We've got six main characters, they're based on real people, so we know their personalities, but now we have to fit those personalities into the structure of a narrative." When I first read the script, the James Franco character was—I guess the only way to describe it is he was a lot douchier than the version that we came up with. I was the materialistic guy. They were really playing up the Gucci-modeling aspect of my life. I had a phone call with Seth and Evan. I said, "I need some sort of human connection." We quickly figured out that it was a desire to please Seth. My version of James Franco loves Seth but is also maybe a little obsessed with Seth.

The Real Life Diet of Longevity Doctor Mark Hyman, Who Developed a Six-Pack in His 60s

By Abbey Stone

Everyone’s Favorite Affordable Watch Brand Just Launched a Hot New Collection

By Oren Hartov

Cillian Murphy Is the Man of the Moment

By Daniel Riley

Danny McBride: They'd been shooting for about a week before I got there, and the assistant director, who's a good friend, had given me a heads-up, like, "Man, you'd better come equipped. These dudes are really going after each other in the improv." So it's not like I have any confusion about Franco's sexuality, but my line about him _["James Franco didn't suck any dick last night? Now I know y'all are trippin'!"] _just seemed right in the moment.

Franco: I know that part of my public persona involves questioning my sexuality, so I was fine with those jokes. My public persona is something that is only partially constructed by me, so if people want to mock that, it's fine. I mock it. Everybody in the movie is probably playing it twenty times dumber than they normally are. We're playing the moronic versions of ourselves. Hopefully, if we were in this sort of survival situation, we'd all behave more like my character in 127 Hours —really trying to rationally think it out—not just like a bunch of idiots saying stupid things to each other.

Jay Baruchel: I feel the need to stress that these are cartoon versions. You know, I'm not quite as precious an asshole as I come off, and everyone else isn't quite as whorish and psychotic. But there was an interesting danger the whole time that the entire thing could go down in flames. We were sort of serving blowfish at a sushi restaurant—you know, one misstep and we're going to send a bunch of fucking people to the hospital.

Franco: Danny was playing very close to a lot of his on-screen personas, but in real life Danny is an incredibly sweet guy. He is not like Kenny Powers [McBride's character from HBO's Eastbound & Down ] at all.

**McBride: **The blessing and the curse of creating a character like Kenny is that this is how people see me. I kind of have stopped going to bars unless I'm looking for trouble, because I'll usually end up finding it. Kenny is just an amalgamation of what Jody Hill and myself find hilarious about the kind of people that fucked with us when we were kids in the town that we grew up in. So there is something that's very odd about it. I was making an observation about the type of people I didn't really dig when I was growing up, and now people just assume that I am that guy.

Rogen: Jonah's character was just an asshole in the first draft—partially because he had been doing that a lot in movies. Then he had the idea of like, "It's funnier if I'm one of those guys who seems nice, and you can't tell if I'm fucking with you or if I actually am an asshole."

Jonah Hill: _ [Was shooting a movie and unavailable for comment. (We couldn't tell if he was fucking with us or not.)] _

Franco: The joke with Michael Cera's character is that he's clearly the sweetest guy in show business, but here he played the biggest asshole in show business.

Rogen: Michael's death was the first one that, like, kicks off all the shit, so we thought it would be funny to kill someone you don't expect to die. And it needed to be someone who was despicable so when they do die really graphically, you're entertained by it, not wrapped up in the fact that this person you like just died. So it seemed the perfect storm was to have Michael Cera be a coked-out lunatic. And he took it even farther than we could have ever imagined.

**Goldberg: **We wrote this insane character for him, and his only note as an actor, which it's rare to only have one, is "I want to wear this windbreaker." It's his real-life windbreaker.

Cera: It was something to hide behind, I guess. It helped my body language to pull down on it and tug at it—you know, strange, jonesing behavior. I said, "I really think that windbreaker is going to help me be a major asshole."

**Goldberg: **Michael was like a hurricane of hilarity. All the other actors, he was the one they were looking at like, "This is, like, magical."

"I'm Going to Ask Her if I Can Slap Her Butt for Real"

Goldberg: Having Rihanna there was extremely exhilarating for everybody, because they're all pretty famous people, but they're not even one smidgen as famous as her. In one scene, it's her and Jason Segel and Michael.

Cera: In the script, I think it just says, "Michael Cera does a line of cocaine and slaps Rihanna on the ass. And she turns and slaps him back."

**Goldberg: **And Michael said to all of us, "I'm going to ask her if I can slap her butt for real. I think it will make the joke way funnier." And we were like, "Yeah, totally go for it. Go nuts." And so he asked permission to do the butt slap, and she said, "You can do it, but I'm coming back way harder." She hit him the first time, the second time, and we were all laughing, and Michael was like, "Oh, it hurts." And she was laughing and he was laughing. And the third time I think she cupped his ear, and it messed him up.

Cera: It was like a flash bomb went off. There was a high-pitched tone ringing in my ear, and I didn't know where I was.

Goldberg: He was like, "I kind of can't hear very well." We were like, "Ha-ha- ha-ha." He was like, "No, will you help me sit down? My balance is kind of gone." I've genuinely never seen a person get slapped that hard in real life.

Rogen: She really slapped the shit out of him like six times, and eventually he said, "I can't do this anymore."

Cera: It was effective. She didn't hold back.

"Save It, Mr. '127 Hours'!"

Franco: So when the catastrophe hits L.A., a lot of the people at my party start dying by falling into a sinkhole. There was this one shot they'd put together— a mock-up animation thing—of Aziz's last moments. So I'm watching it, and Aziz is holding on somehow to the side of the sinkhole, and then his arm gets ripped off just because some pressure is applied, and there's a rock underneath.

Goldberg: Franco walked up to me and went, "That arm wouldn't get severed like that."

Rogen: Franco was like, "This is going to look fucking stupid, guys. I'm just telling you. I've done a movie where an arm comes off. This is not going to work." We were just like, "Yeah, ha, ha, ha, ha. Fucking save it, Mr. 127 Hours !" Then literally we were in the editing room, and we were like, "Fuck, he's right," and we had to completely change the gag.

Goldberg: It was one of the most decisive wins in an argument I've experienced in my recent life.

Franco: I warned them!

"No. No. Please Don't Make Me Say That."

Franco: Seth told me recently that at one point everybody in the main cast took him aside on set and said, "Okay, I'm not okay with this material" or "I don't really want to do that." Everybody except me. I never turned anything down.

Goldberg: It was a game I had—I'm going to make all of these guys say, "Please don't make me do that." And I got Danny; I got Jonah. I got them all, except for Seth and Franco. I tried. I tried really hard. But Franco would know when I was trying, and so he'd do whatever I'd asked for with extra zeal. And Seth just knows what I'm going to say before I say it, so I couldn't stump him. But the other guys, we pushed them far. They all couldn't take it the distance.

McBride: I'm getting a bad rap! It literally was in the middle of the scene, and Evan just told me to pull my pants down. And I was like, "I'm not opposed to pulling my pants down, but I just need to see where the camera angle is; I need to see what my ass looks like." I would pull my pants down for Evan and Seth gladly; I just need to know what the lighting setup is.

**Baruchel: **I said "I won't say that" a bunch, but I would assume my prickly-pear moments were probably related to saying something about Canada or my mother that I didn't want to say.

Craig Robinson: There was one line. I don't remember exactly what it was; I just know it was something involving Mother Teresa. I was like, "No. No. Please don't make me say that."

Goldberg: I will never say what it was about, because Craig was right to shut me down, and the line went very too far, so we'll let this unknown Mother Teresa joke fade away.

Rogen: There is a scene where Jonah is praying to God, and I think we said, "Say, 'God, I will literally suck your dick if you kill Jay.' " He actually said it once, and then the second time, he said, "I don't want to do that anymore." What's funny is a lot of the guys would say the offending line once and then not a second time, which is so stupid, because they know how movies work. They know that once we have it once, we have it.

**Franco: **As for how hard we teased each other in the movie, I can remember a few days into shooting, Seth and Evan said, "It's great, everybody's great, it's working, but the only thing we're concerned with now is we don't want everybody to be too mean to each other. Let's be aware that this isn't just, you know, we pick each other apart."

Robinson: Somebody gets you, you get 'em back. I heard about an improv that was about me: "How old is Craig?" "I dunno, was he in the Temptations?"

Goldberg: It never really went dark. It never went too far in a bad way. But I would be lying if I didn't say that a few people got hurt a few times emotionally, myself included. When you're making a movie like this, it's just impossible not to. People will prey on the other person's worst movie.

**McBride: **You're like, all right, what could they come after me about? What am I insecure about? What can I go after them about? How do I act toward Franco? Like, do we have any ill will because of the _Your Highness _flop?

Franco: Your Highness ? That movie sucks. You can't get around that.

"This Beautifully Over-the-Top, Crazy Masturbating Discussion"

Franco: So there was this scene in the script where Danny was supposed to have masturbated on my Penthouse and ruined it. I would come out, yell at him, and it would just show a further split between us. But there was something about me and Danny with that kind of material. Maybe there was something about my comfort with, you know, sexuality of all kinds, and his character's discomfort, that might be an underlying thing. Because of all of those things, that improvisation just led to something, like, beyond. It was a moment in the movie, too, where the characters could just kind of lose it, so all of those things mid together allowed for this beautifully over-the-top, crazy masturbating discussion. When Judd Apatow saw it, he was like, "I think it's the funniest thing I've ever seen in a film."

Judd Apatow: I am always shocked when people I have known for so long can surprise me and make me laugh crazy hard. There shouldn't be any way to push it farther and make someone like me really lose control laughing, but they did it.

McBride: I love working with Franco. I think because he is, like, a real legitimate movie star, when he gets very serious and angry, it just makes me laugh. It's like, I feel like I'm in a real movie right now! We get each other's senses of humor, so when we were yelling at each other about this, it just kind of evolved into us both being spoiled kids. It kind of turned into some playground thing, like, "I wish you would push me!" But it was under the guise of "I wish you would cum on me." It was weird.

Franco: Like all comedies, even bad ones, it gets at important issues if you want to examine it. And so this scene is about personal space—you know, guys getting together, talking about masturbation, but they would never do it in front of each other, or if they did, what does that mean?

"What Was in That Glass? I Won't Ever Tell!"

Rogen: We got into the idea that Franco would have a lot of his props from his old movies. And the amazing thing is we actually got the real props. The backpack that Craig takes to get water is literally the backpack they used to film 127 Hours , and that gun is actually the gun from Flyboys . That actually is the video camera from 127 Hours . So we just thought the idea of Franco having this camera around, with six people stuck in a house, was like The Real World . And those confessionals on The Real World are such a ubiquitous thing. We probably shot an hour of footage with each guy in those confessionals.

Robinson: The idea was we were doing a video log about our feelings about the end of the world, and you could just go in there and say whatever. _[At one point they run out of drinking water, and Robinson jokes about what else he might be drinking.] _They had the cup of "urine" in a martini glass. What was in that glass? I won't ever tell!

Franco: Everybody had a scheduled scene in front of the camera where we did most of those riffs. But the idea that it was always there is good, because it's one more kind of weird crossover meta level. Unlike most movies, where you have a script and a schedule, here the characters could step out of that schedule and go talk to the camera at any time, and that would generate material that could ostensibly go in the movie. It was a great tool for them to have.

"The Best Part of the Whole Movie"

Goldberg: We've discussed Pineapple Express 2 for years. We all had such a good time making that movie. So while we were writing this movie, we discussed the idea of them filming a sequel to one of our other movies within this movie. And in the end, we chose Pineapple Express because we had most of the cast there. [In the film, the surviving friends, who are getting bored being cooped up in Franco's house, use the 127 Hours camera to make their own Pineapple Express 2.] So this was one of the ideas that the studio was a little unsure of. And I don't like to admit this, but we said, "Yeah, maybe you're right." So we took it out of the script. But then I mentioned it to James on set, and I have never seen his eyes light up like that. He jumped out of his chair, like, "We have to do that! That is the best part of the whole movie. Please. It's so good. We just need half a day."

Franco: I said, "This is what is going to make this movie." The hard thing about sequels is there are so many expectations. You want to give people some of what they loved about the original, but you want it to be different so that they don't feel like it's just a replay. One of the traps that sequels fall into is bigger equals better— Revenge of the Nerds Go to Miami or whatever. But in this situation, all the pressure is off, because it's the characters making it, so it can be low-tech. You don't have to fall into that trap. Here, smaller is better.

Cera: It's my favorite sequence. I couldn't stop laughing. I thought it was the best use of these guys' real-life relationships with each other and how ridiculous they are as people. Self-congratulatory and childish at the same time.

Franco: As far as why Pineapple Express 2 has not been made for real, I don't know what the holdup is. I would do it, Danny would do it, Seth would do it. I think Seth and Evan just need a fire lit under their asses.

Rogen: I think it'll happen one day. We've just had other shit we wanted to do. What's funny is, this movie itself is proof that we've put a lot of thought into it, because the story in the movie for the fake sequel of Pineapple Express is the actual story for Pineapple Express 2 that we came up with. I think the fake sequel sells it, if anything. It's the $30 million pitch!

"Small Penises Just Aren't as Funny"

Rogen: The giant monster dick [the one on the devil spawn that threatens the earth with extinction] came a little later in the process. Does Chris Nolan sound like this in interviews? "The 200-foot-tall monster cock was kind of something that came later in the filmmaking process." Does he say that a lot?

Goldberg: We actually tried small penises on the monsters at first. Normally, people just go straight to the big-dick joke. So we tried the small-penis jokes in this movie. Small penises just aren't as funny.

**Rogen: **Yeah, at first the demon didn't have a dick. Because it was all done with CGI, we could play with it. And then we were just like, "No, we should do a giant dick that gets cut off and crushes this guy's trailer." I would argue that it's the biggest, most epic dick joke in the history of movies.

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/39688/logo/Wayfair_Logo_FINAL.png

Wayfair coupon code for an extra 20% off select orders

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/38348/logo/michaels-coupon-logo.png

Enjoy 20% off at Michael's using code on regular items

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/38333/logo/Asos_trans_back.png

Enjoy 30% Off w/ ASOS Promo Code

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/47290/logo/ebay-coupon-code.png

eBay coupon for $5 Off sitewide

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/47058/logo/peacock-tv-coupon.png

Enjoy Peacock Premium for Only $1.99/Month Instead of $5.99

https://www.gq.com/coupons/static/shop/46737/logo/Samsung-discount-code.png

Today's Deals 2024: Up to 45% Off at Samsung

Screen Rant

What happened to james franco.

James Franco hasn't starred in a movie since 2019, which has led to speculation about whether he'll return following the controversy surrounding him.

  • James Franco's career in the film industry has stagnated since 2019, with fewer notable roles and projects, possibly due to controversies and allegations.
  • Franco's reputation has been significantly impacted by lawsuits and accusations of inappropriate behavior, leading to a shift in how he is perceived within the industry.
  • Franco's falling out with Seth Rogen, his former frequent collaborator, is emblematic of the consequences he faces professionally and personally in light of the controversies surrounding him.

James Franco had a career in the film industry that was exponentially expanding in the 2010s, but the actor/writer/director hasn't starred in a movie since 2019. Franco, once a prominent figure in Hollywood, has graced the screen with a variety of dynamic performances, from the Spider-Man trilogy to the critically acclaimed 127 Hours , for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. His career was marked by a blend of commercial and indie films, showcasing his versatility across genres. His collaborations with Seth Rogen , such as in Pineapple Express and Disaster Artist , further cemented his place in the industry, with the latter earning him a Golden Globe.

Franco's talent was undeniable, and his knack for choosing diverse and challenging roles made him a significant player in the film industry. However, in recent years, Franco's presence in Hollywood has noticeably diminished. After a flurry of successful films, Franco's career seems to have hit a standstill, with fewer roles and a lack of notable projects that once defined his trajectory. He has been removed from the limelight due to a variety of controversies and allegations that have left him without a clear path to return to the screen in a noteworthy capacity.

James Franco Hasn't Appeared In A Movie Since 2019

Arctic Dogs smile in the arctic

Before 2019, James Franco was a staple in Hollywood, with a career spanning over two decades. After starring in the Spider-Man franchise as Harry Osborn, the 2010s saw Franco involved in a variety of projects, from the blockbuster action movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes to the boundary-pushing high-grossing A24 indie movie Spring Breakers . He showed no signs of slowing down and became known for easily being able to switch between big-budget blockbusters and character-study indie flicks.

However, James Franco's last known appearance was a voice-only role in the animated feature Arctic Dogs , where he lent his voice to one of the canine characters. Despite his consistent work, Franco's visibility in leading roles has dwindled. His involvement in the Arctic Dogs cast seemed to mark the beginning of a quieter phase in his career, with the actor stepping away from the forefront of Hollywood productions. The absence of new movies with Franco since 2019 has led to speculation about the reasons behind this change and what the future holds for his career trajectory in the film industry.

James Franco Controversy & Accusations Explained

The spring break girls pose with Alien in Spring Breakers

Franco's career has been overshadowed by controversy, and allegations of inappropriate behavior and the subsequent legal battles have significantly impacted his reputation. The accusations led to lawsuits and a great deal of scrutiny from both the public and the industry. In 2014, a 17-year-old girl posted screenshots of text messages between her and then 35-year-old James Franco where he tried to persuade her to meet in a hotel room even after finding out her age. In 2018, Franco drew backlash for wearing a Time's Up pin in solidarity with the MeToo movement to protest sexual harassment as women were coming forward with allegations of sexual assault against the actor.

A few days after the 2018 Golden Globes, more women accused Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior when he was teaching or mentoring them at his own acting school, Studio 4 (via LA Times ). One student commented that Franco hosted a sex scenes class and removed female students' vaginal guards while simulating oral sex. Other students claim they had recorded auditions that included nudity and sex scenes that were kept by Franco. Another student also commented:

"He would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts"

Franco dealt with a number of lawsuits from his students, including a class-action lawsuit that included 1500 students seeking damages (via NY Times ). The legal and personal challenges that arose from these accusations have played a role in Franco's decreased visibility. While the lawsuits have been settled and Franco has paid millions of dollars in damages, the gravity of the allegations and the conversations around accountability in Hollywood has contributed to a shift in how Franco is perceived. This shift is indicative of the broader changes in the industry's approach to allegations of misconduct, reflecting a new era.

James Franco's Falling Out With Seth Rogen Explained

James Franco and Seth Rogen's partnership was once a hallmark of a particular comedic era in Hollywood. However, the camaraderie that fueled their on-screen collaborations in movies like Pineapple Express and This Is the End has since faded. Rogen, who had worked with Franco on numerous projects, publicly stated that he did not plan to work with James Franco following the allegations made against him. Here's what Rogen said in full:

I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now… I don’t know if I can define [our friendship] right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.

This falling out is emblematic of the consequences Franco faces in the industry - not only professionally, but also in terms of personal relationships. Rogen's distancing from Franco marked a significant moment, as it represented a tangible industry response to the controversies surrounding Franco. This separation has influenced Franco's career trajectory too, as his frequent collaborations with Rogen were integral to his filmography . The dissolution of this creative partnership has contributed to the challenges Franco faces in finding new roles within an industry increasingly focused on ethical behavior and accountability, especially considering how many movies they made together previously.

Does James Franco Have Any Upcoming Projects?

James Franco screaming in 127 Hours

Despite the controversies, there are reports of potential projects involving James Franco. These projects, which have not seen significant progress, suggest that Franco's career certainly isn't thriving as it once did. The Long Home , an indie drama starring and directed by Franco, was shot in 2015 and the rights were acquired by Great Point Media in 2017. However, despite a huge cast including Ashton Kutcher, Tim Blake Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Josh Hutcherson, The Long Home still hasn't been released. The Long Home would cost millions of dollars to market, and given Franco's reputation, it will be a difficult sell that could result in a significant loss for the studio.

In 2022, it was announced that Franco would play Fidel Castro in Alina of Cuba , which drew controversy too, and there hasn't been any update since. The state of these projects reflects the uncertainty surrounding Franco's future in film, with the industry's reception to his involvement being unclear in the aftermath of his controversies. The liminal status of these potential roles indicates a career at a crossroads. The developments of these projects, or lack thereof, serve as an indicator of Franco's ability to re-engage with the industry and whether he can overcome the setbacks he has faced in recent years.

Will James Franco Make A Hollywood Comeback?

James Franco on the phone in Zeroville

As a result of the controversy, Franco's once-bright star has dimmed, leaving questions about his professional future and his place within the entertainment community. The question of a Hollywood comeback for Franco is fraught with complexities. Given the severity of the accusations against him and the industry's move towards more stringent accountability, a return to his former level of stardom seems unlikely. The industry's current climate, coupled with the legal and reputational challenges James Franco continues to navigate, suggests that any potential comeback would require not only time but also a significant shift in public and professional perception.

Sources: LA Times , NY Times

This Is the End (2013)

Full cast & crew.

in the end james franco

Directed by 

Writing credits ( wga )  , cast (in credits order) verified as complete  , produced by , music by , cinematography by , editing by , casting by , production design by , art direction by , set decoration by , costume design by , makeup department , production management , second unit director or assistant director , art department , sound department , special effects by , visual effects by , stunts , camera and electrical department , casting department , costume and wardrobe department , editorial department , location management , music department , script and continuity department , transportation department , additional crew .

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

Contribute to This Page

 width=

  • Full Cast and Crew
  • Release Dates
  • Official Sites
  • Company Credits
  • Filming & Production
  • Technical Specs
  • Plot Summary
  • Plot Keywords
  • Parents Guide

Did You Know?

  • Crazy Credits
  • Alternate Versions
  • Connections
  • Soundtracks

Photo & Video

  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers and Videos
  • User Reviews
  • User Ratings
  • External Reviews
  • Metacritic Reviews

Related Items

  • External Sites

Related lists from IMDb users

list image

Recently Viewed

Every Cameo In This Is The End Ranked

Emma Watson in "This Is the End"

A truly out-of-left-field comedy, 2013's "This Is the End" took one of the most beloved plot points of the past few decades (the end of the world) and found a new angle. Put simply, the movie asked: "What if the apocalypse happened while an epic Hollywood party was being thrown, leaving a bunch of celebrities to deal with it?" 

Directed by Seth Rogen and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg — and written by the same duo, along with Jason Stone, who directed the short film " Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse " — the movie is largely based on the concept that brought that short film to fruition. "Apocalypse" was so well-received that it was eventually turned into "This Is the End," and the two films were even packaged together in the Blu-ray release.

The subversive plot — with name actors playing over-the-top versions of themselves — signaled to audiences that there was a lot of fun to come. Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, James Franco, and Danny McBride filled the lead roles, trying to survive the rapture amongst a smorgasbord of blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos from other celebrities.

You can't have a party without party guests, and in the film it turns out Franco has invited a who's-who of Hollywood stardom to his housewarming bonanza. The combinations of different celebrities sharing the screen in such rapid succession effectively renders the audience into a never-ending incarnation of that meme where Leonardo DiCaprio points at his television screen .

If you've never seen the movie and don't mind spoilers, or if it's just been a while and you need a refresher, here are all the cameos in "This Is the End," ranked.

13. Martin Starr

Before he was Spider-Man's teacher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Martin Starr perished in the fictional apocalypse of "This Is the End." At the time of the film's 2013 release, Starr was already known for his work in such productions as "Freaks and Geeks," "Knocked Up," and "Adventureland," a long time member of the Judd Apatow troupe.

In "This Is the End," Starr mostly stays in the background of the action at James Franco's party, though he does have two moments to shine among the crowd. When a very high Michael Cera can't find his phone, Cera accuses Starr of taking it, so Starr defends himself in front of everyone with some choice expletives. When the earthquake begins in earnest, forming a giant hole in the ground, Starr slips in. 

He's almost able to save himself, hanging on to the edge of the hole, but a falling rock hits him in the face and sends him spiraling into the center of the Earth. David Krumholtz, holding on for dear life himself just a few feet away, shouts Martin's name in anguish as he tumbles to his death.

12. David Krumholtz

Audience members watching "This Is the End" might recognize  David Krumholtz from wildly different projects. Early in his career, he starred as Bernard the elf in Disney's "Santa Clause" movies . Later, he had a recurring role in the "Harold & Kumar" films, as well as a starring role in "Numb3rs" on CBS. Like many of the other cameos in the film, he had a small part in "Superbad."

Krumholtz desperately attempts to save himself during the apocalypse earthquake, dangling from the edge of a cliff and watching poor Martin Starr fall to his death. Nearby, Jay Baruchel similarly hangs on — so Krumholtz suggests a crazy idea to get them both to safety. Hey, during the end of the world, anything's worth a shot. 

Krumholtz proposes that he grab onto Baruchel's hand, then lunge himself toward Baruchel, at which point Baruchel will use all of his body weight to propel Krumholtz upward and out of the hole. Then Krumholtz, at the surface, could in theory hoist Baruchel out. The plan, of course, fails spectacularly — the moment Krumholtz swings, Baruchel immediately drops him.

11. Paul Rudd

Before he became known to a younger generation as Ant-Man , Paul Rudd appeared in a number of comedies alongside the stars of "This Is the End." He and Seth Rogen had relationship issues with their significant others in "Knocked Up," Rudd taught Jason Segel how to surf in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (and Segel reciprocated by playing the best man at Rudd's wedding in "I Love You, Man"), and Rudd played a mentor to Christopher Mintz-Plasse in "Role Models." Which is to say, there's a lot of overlap among the cast of "This Is The End," so it makes sense that Rudd would be friends with this quasi-fictionalized crew.

Rudd shows up late to Franco's party, arriving just as the apocalypse is getting into motion. Having brought an oversized bottle of wine as a housewarming gift, Rudd proceeds to be terrified at the chaos underway. The "Clueless" star runs around hysterically with the huge bottle in his arms, but in the commotion, he mistakenly steps on a woman's head, causing her eyes to bulge from her skull.

10. Michael Cera

Presented as the polar opposite of the timid, hesitant-to-break-the-rules persona fans project on Cera after years of watching " Arrested Development ," "Juno," "Superbad" and other projects,  Michael Cera's hyperbolized depiction of himself in "This Is the End" is down to party hard. 

He slaps Rihanna on the butt. He dusts cocaine in Christopher Mintz-Plasse's face. Jay Baruchel walks in on him in the bathroom with his pants down, surrounded by several girls. George Michael Bluth, this is not.

High on multiple substances when the apocalypse begins, Cera reacts differently than the many party guests assembled in Franco's front yard, fearful for their lives. He instead takes the opportunity to make accusations about who stole his cell phone — and does so with such an unpleasant attitude that you might find yourself cheering when he begins accusing Martin Starr and the ground moves violently, impaling Cera with a light post.

The post hoists Cera into the air, and he realizes his phone was in his pocket all along. "That's embarrassing," he mumbles before falling to his doom in a giant hole created by the earthquake. The first of many celebrity deaths in the film, the dispatching of Cera signals the sharp, unexpected turns ahead.

9. Mindy Kaling

When "This Is The End" originally hit theaters, Mindy Kaling  was a hot property in Hollywood. She had just completed her run on "The Office," had recently wrapped up the first season of her new series "The Mindy Project" (which would continue for another five seasons), and was very in-demand. Nevertheless, she made time to drop in on some old friends.

Attending Franco's housewarming in the film, Kaling is happy to see Seth Rogen and meet Jay Baruchel for the first time, mentioning that she loves his work in "Million Dollar Baby."

But, in a crush no one sees coming, Kaling divulges that she has a thing for Michael Cera. Eyeballing the "Juno" star from across the room, Kaling tells Rogen that she admires how Cera is "pale, 110 pounds, hairless," and some additional R-rated qualities. Sadly, the two never get to hook up, as both she and Cera perish in the earthquake.

8. Jason Segel

Jason Segel is just trying to have a good time at Franco's party, but instead keeps finding himself in the middle of awkward encounters with other celebrities. 

At the party, Segel supports Rihanna when Michael Cera assaults her; later, Segel chats with Kevin Hart, lamenting what he perceives as repetitive scripts for " How I Met Your Mother ." The CBS sitcom had already aired for eight seasons when "This Is The End" debuted in theaters, and would air a ninth and final season soon afterwards.

7. Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari , at the time in the middle of his run on "Parks and Recreation," probably could have survived the earthquake and been a prominent part of 2013's "This Is the End," but celebrity after celebrity leaves him hanging, literally. When apocalyptic tremors form a hole in James Franco's yard that appears to drag its captors to hell, Ansari almost gets sucked in, but is able to hang on to the last remnants of terra firma. He just needs a little help hoisting himself up, if only someone would assist him.

Ansari cries out to Craig Robinson for assistance, but the "Hit Tub Time Machine" star takes one look at him and remarks, "It's too late for you! You're already in the hole!" before frantically running away. Ansari replies in frustration: "What are you talking about?!" 

The "Master of None" star seemingly gets a chance for survival when Kevin Hart passes his way, but it is short-lived. Ansari grabs onto Hart's foot, causing the comedian to aggressively kick him in the face, making Ansari fall to his death. But wait, the one time Tom Haverford does appear to get the last laugh. When Ansari's severed hand remains attached to Kevin Hart's foot, the funnyman frantically tries to un-attach it, causing him to also fall into the hole.

6. Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart swings from one end of the emotional pendulum to the other over the course of James Franco's party in "This Is The End," one moment sharing a laugh with a bud and the next letting someone fall to their death.

Prior to the earthquake, Hart has a conversation with his "Five-Year Engagement" co-star Jason Segel. The two discuss Segel's long tenure on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." Hart thinks the show is hilarious, while the shine seems to have faded for Segel. "It's the same thing a lot," Segel laments to Hart. He cites an example of his character pretending to not know who ate a missing birthday cake while actively having cake frosting across his face, and mimics the bit for Hart. Beside himself with laughter, Hart is in stitches and affirms to Segel that's why the show is #1. Later as the earthquake sucks celebrities into an ominous hole, Aziz Ansari pleads to Hart for help. Hart, trying to escape from the chaos himself, rejects Ansari, but in the process dies anyway.

5. Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Quite a few party guests in "This Is the End" also had appearances in "Superbad," including Seth Rogen, David Krumholtz, Martin Starr, and Danny McBride. At the heart of that 2007 comedy, though, was three actors portraying teenagers attempting to have the night of their lives: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The three of them share one scene together in "This Is the End," for what is effectively a " Superbad " reunion with a bit of their roles reversed.

Mintz-Plasse played the fearless Fogell in "Superbad," whose fake I.D. gave him the infamous nickname "McLovin." Here in "This Is the End," Mintz-Plasse is a bit on-edge, and rightfully so, as Cera blows cocaine into his face. He reprimands Cera, and Hill tries to de-escalate the situation to no avail. It's a quick moment, but it's nice to see the three of them share a scene together again.

4. Channing Tatum

Zombies, demon possession, monsters made out of fire... it seems that there are no rules in the apocalypse, and anything can happen. At no point in "This Is the End" is that more true than in the film's final moments, when Channing Tatum makes an appearance as himself. It should be noted that Tatum wasn't part of Franco's housewarming party earlier in the film, so his arrival toward the end comes as something of a surprise.

After being banished from Franco's home, actor Danny McBride is living on the streets, but he's doing pretty well. He's king of the cannibals, and takes advantage of the apocalyptic age everyone is living in to lead a vicious pack of humans who kill and eat other humans. At McBride's side is a man on a leash, wearing a Luchador mask. Taking off the mask, he's revealed to be none other than Tatum, who McBride is proud to note is his new sexual partner. 

As Tatum and the cannibal army devour James Franco, it results in a scene that is truly one of those "what the heck am I watching?" moments. But ultimately, it's moments like this that make "This Is the End" worth watching.

Arguably the most famous person in the entire movie, the presence of this 9-time Grammy winner — as the only musician among this disparate party crowd — makes the film feel less like an in-joke among friends. How does she know James Franco in a way that would warrant an invite to his housewarming party? Is she there with someone else? What is she talking about with Jason Segel when Michael Cera rudely interrupts the conversation by hitting her on the backside?

There are a lot of questions, but the important thing seems to be when Rihanna finds a moment to lend her vocal talents to the party's proceedings. She joins the rest of the party in serenading Craig Robinson while he plays the piano, singing a foul-mouthed, memorable tune. No matter what your expectations are going into this movie, "Rihanna singing about lingerie while Craig Robinson plays the piano" is probably not on your bingo card. 

Soon enough, Rihanna is among the party guests who dies in the apocalypse. It's too bad, because when the world rebuilds after the apocalypse, it would be nice to have some musicians around.

2. Emma Watson

Fresh after the 2011 release of the final " Harry Potter " movie, Emma Watson makes it clear in "This Is the End" that she's not in Hogwarts anymore. 

Wielding an axe and shouting f-bombs, Watson survives the threat of apocalyptic monsters outside, then seems to find solace inside James Franco's house. But she is soon alarmed after overhearing the rest of the house's inhabitants, who are all guys, discuss whether they think she feels uncomfortable as the only female in the house. Reacting to such talk, she puts the boys in their place and then leaves the residence.

Earlier in the movie during the party, Watson and Craig Robinson have a more casual conversation with Jay Baruchel, who they peg as a hipster. Fervently denying the label, Baruchel all but confirms he is, in fact, a hipster when he admits to Robinson's suspicion of not liking films that are "universally loved," including " Forrest Gump ." Watson then quotes the famous line "Life is like a box of chocolates" from the movie, perhaps giving viewers a quick peek at how she'd fare starring in a "Gump" remake.

1. Backstreet Boys

For the entire duration of "This Is the End," it's clear that some people can escape the apocalypse via a bright, blue light beaming them upward. What awaits them when they reach the sky remains a mystery, as does how to achieve this ascension. 

Much is revealed, however, in the final moments of the film. Just before being killed by a giant monster made of fire and rocks, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel perform acts of compassion and save their souls, allowing them to beam skyward and out of the monster's clutches.

It turns out you can make anything happen in heaven. Seth Rogen wishes for a Segway. Jay Baruchel, on the other hand, is a little more ambitious, so he uses his wish fulfillment to summon a reunion of all five Backstreet Boys — Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, and Kevin Richardson.

The cameo is made even better by the camera at first only showing the back of the boyband's heads. In a dramatic reveal, the audience sees that this is indeed the real Backstreet Boys.

What happens next is a fitting finale for what has been a proudly, defiantly off-the-wall film. The Backstreet Boys lead the citizens of heaven in singing and dancing to "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," and really, it's the best ending anyone could possibly ask for.

The Cinemaholic

Where Was This Is the End Filmed?

Naman Shrestha of Where Was This Is the End Filmed?

Based on the 2007 short film ‘Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse’ by Seth Rogen , Evan Goldberg, and Jason Stone, ‘This Is The End’ is a 2013 apocalyptic comedy movie co-written and co-directed by Rogen and Goldberg themselves. The narrative revolves around a house party that actor James Franco throws for a bunch of his celebrity friends, including Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill , Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson. Soon, their wild celebrations are interrupted when a deadly apocalypse erupts out of nowhere, causing the deaths of many guests and trapping the others in the house.

The leftover celebrities find themselves stuck in Franco’s house as they not only have to deal with the apocalypse but also each other. The serious subjects of apocalypse and death are countered by the hilarious takes on them as the viewers’ funny bone is tickled amidst such a disastrous situation. What makes the narrative all the more entertaining are the hilarious performances from some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including James Franco, Rihanna, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Emma Watson , and Paul Rudd . Moreover, the apocalyptic setting and the backdrop of Franco’s house are likely to make you wonder where ‘This Is The End’ was shot. Well, if you are one such curious soul, we have got you covered!

This Is The End Filming Locations

´This Is The End’ was filmed in Louisiana and California, specifically in New Orleans and Los Angeles. The principal photography for the apocalyptic movie reportedly commenced in late April 2012, under the working title ‘The Apocalypse’ and then ‘The End of the World’ later. The production got wrapped up in around 50 days or so, in early July of the same year. Although the story is set in Los Angeles, a majority of the shooting took place in New Orleans because of the financial incentives that the filmmakers received from the city. So, let’s not waste any time and jump right into the middle of the apocalypse and learn all about the specific locations that appear in the movie!

New Orleans, Louisiana

in the end james franco

Most of the pivotal sequences for ‘This Is The End’ were lensed in and around New Orleans, a consolidated city parish in the southeastern region of Louisiana. A big warehouse-cum-soundstage in the New Orleans suburb of Harahan was transformed into a studio for shooting many scenes for the movie. The filmmakers constructed a full-sized house to depict James Franco’s house in the center of the warehouse, where a majority of the film was shot. Since it was much cheaper to reconstruct Melrose of Los Angeles in a parking lot in New Orleans than to shoot on the actual Melrose, the production team chose to rebuild a portion of Melrose Avenue in the Crescent City itself.

Los Angeles, California

Additional portions for ‘This Is The End’ were also seemingly taped on location in Los Angeles, a major city in Southern California. It is possible that the cast and crew members utilized the locales of LA to record a few exterior scenes for the movie. Apart from the James Franco-starrer, the City of Angels has featured in many movies and TV shows, such as ‘ Top Gun: Maverick ,’ ‘ Bullet Train ,’ and ‘ The Patient .’

Read More: Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix

SPONSORED LINKS

The Cinemaholic Sidebar

  • Movie Explainers
  • TV Explainers
  • About The Cinemaholic

For ‘This Is the End’s’ James Franco, it never really seems to be

in the end james franco

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!

The snow is piling up on the streets of small-town Utah, and James Franco is talking about sex.

He is talking about sex in the way James Franco talks about sex: as a narrative tool, as a humanizing mechanism, as a way to help us understand academic differences between film and literature.

“We’ve been using violence as a storytelling device for decades, but we’ve only just begun to use sex that way instead of as simply something to shock,” he says, responding to a straightforward interview question with a disquisition on sexuality and film. Despite Franco’s charm and disheveled good looks, there is something clinical, earnest, unsexy about him. Hearing him talk about sex is like hearing one of the world’s great chefs talk about fine food and feeling no discernible appetite.

PHOTOS: The many faces, and places, of James Franco

The previous evening, Franco had shown his documentary “Kink,” about a fetish website, to a midnight audience at the Sundance Film Festival. The audience was uncomfortable, in a way that midnight Sundance audiences are seldom uncomfortable. Watching them from the back of the theater, Franco found himself surprised. But as he reflects on it now, he does not primarily see in the audience’s reaction a comment on sexuality. He sees a difference between the novelistic and the cinematic.

“Everybody likes to talk about sex, but when you put it on film it’s somehow different,” he says, professorially. “I was thinking at that moment: All the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ readers? This is what you’re reading about.”

In the last decade, Franco has created a rich set of personalities on-screen — as the Emerald City wizard, as the “Pineapple Express” pot dealer, as “127 Hours’” quixotic hiker, as “Spider-Man’s” Harry Osborn, as Harvey Milk’s boyfriend. He has created them so richly that he has joined the elite ranks of actors who have the chance to create a rich personality off-screen. But for James Franco that is not enough. For James Franco, there always must be a Francian twist.

And so in “This Is the End,” the Seth Rogen-directed apocalypse comedy hit in theaters, he plays, as one character calls him, a “pretentious … nerd,” inclined to windy digressions about art and philosophy. He is named James Franco and looks like James Franco and seems to act like James Franco and lives in a house said to be owned by James Franco, where he hangs his own painterly odes to Rogen and James Franco. But he is not James Franco.

PHOTOS: James Franco - Career in pictures

For perhaps the first time we have an actor who in real life has winkingly created a movie-worthy character, and then in the movies has created a character who winks back to his real life. There are other actors in “This Is the End” playing a distorted version of themselves. But Franco is playing a distorted version of the public character he created, which is itself a distortion of his real self.

Which makes for a lot of distortion and a need for headache medicine.

Other stars have also moved between big and small projects, and some have side gigs in music or writing. But few have done it so prolifically or so aggressively. And none have done it with this degree of meta-flair. Perhaps that’s why, though Franco is ubiquitous on movie marquees and Twitter feeds, it is the character of James Franco we mostly see and why we know so comparatively little about his personal life. As his “This Is the End” costar Jay Baruchel said when asked if Franco’s on-screen digs reflected his real-life ones, “I can’t vouch for the fact that James Franco even lives in a house. He might not. He might live in a tent city somewhere.”

The entertainment media have long tried to decipher him. They’ve noted with some glee when the shtick doesn’t work — see under: the mainstream precincts of the 2011 Oscars — and tried to understand when and why it does.

The success of the just-how-real-is-it “This Is the End” (minus the apocalypse, of course) offers a fine moment to stop and try our hand at the genre. Over the last four months, I’ve interviewed Franco on five occasions. By interacting with him from Utah to Pasadena to the French Riviera, talking with him about a Disney blockbuster, a sex documentary, a William Faulkner adaptation, Franco has become clearer to me. Or at least his murkiness has become clearer.

PHOTOS: James Franco’s literary films

Is his need to take on seemingly every third film in Hollywood and half the art projects in Silver Lake and Williamsburg a matter of childish appetite, a kind of artistic lack of impulse control? Or is it savvily born of the realization that his fame won’t last forever so he might as well take advantage while he can? Does he put up with the trappings of celebrity so he can indulge his more esoteric instincts, or does he indulge in more esoteric instincts so he can be a more well-rounded or well-regarded celebrity?

Are his postmodern turns — playing a character named “Franco” in a “General Hospital” episode so he can make a faux-documentary about a man named “James Franco” starring in a “General Hospital” episode — meant to sincerely say something about the state of art, or are they the cinematic napkin-doodles of a man with too much clout and not enough self-awareness?

Is he, in other words, in on the joke?

There are questions that can be answered and questions that can be raised and questions that seem to beget only more questions. And if that sounds like something James Franco might say, well, I guess an interview subject rubs off on you after a while.

A wizard’s world

James Franco is sitting in a Pasadena hotel ballroom on Presidents Day weekend, giving a small tutorial on the cinematic history of L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz.” It’s a cavernous space, but at the moment it contains only five people, including two videographers he has hired to chronicle his utterances.

Franco is here to pump his lead part in Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful,” by far his most professionally risk-laden role. At the moment, he is getting slightly defensive, in the way that James Franco gets defensive — with a mix of logic and historical precedent.

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

“In England, there’s a tradition of reinterpretation. No one says, ‘You’re doing Hamlet again? But Olivier nailed it!’” he said when I ask him about those who question the need for a new “Oz” movie. He then turns slightly wistful. “It makes me a little sad we don’t have that tradition.”

Franco is speaking as he often does when questioned — he declaims, and more slowly and at a louder decibel than most humans. There is often a sophisticated thought within his statements, more sophisticated than for many actors. But because it is said with a certain aura of pontification it can sound much like the pronouncements of his peers, less interesting to the listener than to its speaker.

Franco is just a few weeks removed from his Sundance sex spiel, and later that week he will take to YouTube to defend his co-director on another Sundance sex title, “Interior. Leather. Bar,” from a restrictive ruling by the Australian ratings board. I note lightheartedly that few would find much common ground between “Kink” and “Wizard of Oz,” though perhaps there’s subtext of the former in the latter.

Franco appears to find this funny, briefly and cautiously. Though he sometimes takes on roles that mock his public image, joking is not Franco’s default mode. Laughter feels less like spontaneous reaction than wary acknowledgment, a kind of notation of a moment he might find funny if he didn’t have three new books to read, nine projects to get off the ground and a shift in the popular conception of the modern celebrity to effect. The business of being James Franco leaves little room for anything other than being James Franco.

There is also a hint of nervousness as he takes in a “Kink” joke during a Disney promotional tour. With his short stories and college-teaching gigs and paintings, Franco is a man who likes control, and there is probably no creative effort on the planet that offers less control than acting in a $250-million Disney movie created largely on an editing-room green screen.

It is worth pausing here to note some of the things he has been controlling over the previous 18 to 24 months.

In addition to acting in “Oz” and “This Is the End,” he has been directing and starring in an adaptation of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying”; playing Hugh Hefner in a biopic about Linda Lovelace; incarnating a gold-toothed rapper/drug dealer in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers”; taking a stab at another baddie in the hit-man action movie “The Iceman”; directing or producing the two sex documentaries; conceiving and producing one film about Gucci and another about the designer Frida Giannini; playing a murderer opposite Jonah Hill’s journalist in a movie called “True Story”; preparing for a London shoot of a thriller called “Good People”; directing a biopic of Charles Bukowski; starring in a drug-lord thriller called “Homefront”; directing and starring in a rural loner story titled “Black Dog, Red Dog”; publishing a book of short stories about his childhood hometown in Palo Alto; starting a crowd-funding campaign to make three movies based on those stories; painting a mural on a Williamsburg wall; staging a multimedia exhibition featuring snippets from “A Streetcar Named Desire”; mounting art shows based on “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Psycho”; teaching courses in filmmaking at USC, UCLA and NYU; taking classes in at least two other graduate programs; and publicizing both many of the above endeavors as well as his work for Gucci, for which his spokesmodel duties take him around the globe.

In the time it took to read that paragraph, he has likely resolved to take on another project and possibly completed it.

Franco tries an explanation for how he is able to achieve so much in so little time. “I have a really good scheduling team,” he said to me once, not quite convincingly.

All of this has led to the criticism that Franco is a dilettante — Gawker, which has great sport with the Franco personage, once called him “the least self-aware human” — and has prompted tabloid reports about how he does not actually do all the things he says he does.

Colleagues, though, say otherwise. Christina Voros, a friend from his days at NYU film school and the director of “Kink,” told me that as producer on the film Franco was a persistent presence. “I know what people think: ‘James, is he really producing all these movies or just lending his name?’ But we couldn’t have done our movie without him,” she said.

It also helps that Franco has a team around him — primarily production company Rabbit Bandini, run by longtime manager Miles Levy and longtime friend Vince Jolivette. The two prefer to stay behind the scenes — though I’d had a meeting tentatively set with them at Cannes it was scrapped by their publicist, and subsequent attempts to reschedule have been unsuccessful. But according to those who know the pair, they are the same whirling dervishes as Franco, reading, note-giving and greenlighting with the fervor of a pastor at a Bible sale.

In that sense, Franco is like the wizard himself, with a team pulling levers even as the public just sees the visage. It’s a twist James Franco himself might appreciate. The person, not the character. Or maybe the character.

The academic actor

Among the many questions James Franco prompts, one that keeps rearing its head is this: Could someone who leads such a charmed but busy life — hopping around the world to sets and promotional appearances — maintain all of that while enrolling in numerous graduate programs and teaching courses like a workaday academic?

Sure, said Dede Gardner, Brad Pitt’s producing partner and a producer on “True Story,” who witnessed a man who sometimes simply likes throwing himself off-kilter. “Most actors shun discomfort. James embraces it,” she said.

But there’s a limit to how hard one person wants to make things on himself. It’s why some people think something should give on his academic career — and why others don’t buy the academic bit in the first place.

I asked him this as he sat at a sunny seaside restaurant in Cannes. Franco, wearing trendy sunglasses and a fitted suit after completing a photo shoot with a French fashion magazine, answered that there’s a philosophy underlying all of this, and those who don’t understand it don’t understand the dual life he is trying to lead.

“My unique position is I have one foot in the film world and one foot in the academic world,” he explained. “And I can bring these places together.” All around are signs of the Mediterranean leisure life, strikingly blue water lapping against yachts with names like Lady Joy. But Franco is more excited to talk about poetry and stream-of-consciousness novels.

As he launches into an explanation for why he has attempted to turn works of Faulkner and the life of the poet Hart Crane into movies — a love for both authors that began in childhood — he explained why he seems to compulsively adapt difficult literary work. “When I have such a great source and a source I respect so much it makes me want to do better because I feel so responsible to that source,” he said.

After explaining his MO to me, Franco walked a few hundred feet up the coast to a gathering of college-age aspiring filmmakers to offer a pep talk. He seemed at ease under a makeshift tent telling stories from the “Freaks and Geeks” set.

“When I was younger” — he said, at 35 a wizened sage to this group — “I didn’t know how to manage my career as an artist. I was too influenced by ideas of careerism… I thought I had to do certain kind of movies.” He continued: “What’s important to me now is that if you want to be an artist … do something you believe in.” The crowd of several dozen was enraptured.

After the talk, I walked up to some of the students, most of them female, and asked what appealed to them about the star. They like his roles, his intellectual seriousness and — oh, yes — his looks. A few note that he is no Ryan Gosling in that department. But Gosling has chosen to continue shooting his directorial debut instead of coming to Cannes to promote his film.

A point about Franco emerges: There may never have been a star whose head is so in the clouds but who’s so willing to hit the promotional pavement. It’s an odd mix of braininess and showmanship, and the latter is what makes some distrust the former.

After the talk with students he was whisked away, to the next book reading or college class or art installation. Will it slow down any time soon? There are, finally, signs it might. After planning for months to direct an adaptation of Andre Dubus III’s 9/11-themed strip-club novel “The Garden of Last Days” in North Carolina this summer he pulled out of the project in late June, just a few weeks before it was to begin shooting.

I asked him on the phone last week why and he said the insurance company wouldn’t let him bring in his own people, and he had quickly moved on to talking about what else he’d do instead in the coming months: play a writer in a Wim Wenders movie, produce at least two films based on “Palo Alto” and direct an adaptation of another Faulkner novel, “The Sound and the Fury.” There are no days off when you hold the job of being James Franco.

[email protected]

Staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.

More to Read

A woman looks alarmed on a dance floor.

Review: ‘How to Have Sex’ follows a trio of women at the age of consent in the Age of Consent

Feb. 2, 2024

Los Angeles, CA - January 16: Comedian, actor, author and creator of the one-woman show "Get on Your Knees," Jacqueline Novak poses for a portrait at Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. The show is debuting on Netflix Jan. 23. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

The mind-blowing comedy of Jacqueline Novak explodes in debut special ‘Get on Your Knees’

Jan. 24, 2024

Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo and Charles Melton as Joe in a scene from 'May December.'

Column: When it comes to Vili Fualaau, ‘May December’ wants to have its cake and eat it too

Jan. 7, 2024

Only good movies

Get the Indie Focus newsletter, Mark Olsen's weekly guide to the world of cinema.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

in the end james franco

Steven Zeitchik is a former Los Angeles Times staff writer who covered film and the larger world of Hollywood for the paper from 2009 to 2017, exploring the personalities, issues, content and consequences of both the creative and business (and, increasingly, digital) aspects of our screen entertainment. He previously covered entertainment beats at Variety and the Hollywood Reporter, has contributed arts and culture pieces to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times and has done journalistic tours of duty in Jerusalem and Berlin. While at The Times he has also reported stories in cities ranging from Cairo to Krakow, though Hollywood can still seem like the most exotic destination of all.

More From the Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8, 2024: Tom Ozanich and Steve Morrow, Oscar-nominated sound editors for "Maestro." in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 8, 2024. (Annie Noelker / For The Times)

A live orchestra in an echoey cathedral? Hundreds of mikes? ‘Maestro’ sound duo is on it

Director Peter Jackson accepts the Best Director award from Tom Cruise at the 76th Academy Awards in 2004.

Oscars rewind -- 2004: Peter Jackson pulls off a hat trick

2024 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS - LIVE ACTION KNIGHT OF FORTUNE

Live action shorts: Stories of life, death and the quirkiest of in-betweens

2024 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS - DOCUMENTARY THE ABCS OF BOOK BANNING USA/27 MINS/2023 Director: Sheila Nevins Producer: Trish Adelsic Synopsis: Over 2000 books have been removed from school districts in the U.S. THE ABCS OF BOOK BANNING follows the human toll the future will pay for depriving children of their right to read and learn about a complex world. Interviews with children and authors shed light on this ongoing dangerous precedent.

Fixes for what’s broken, unheard voices and heroes star in the documentary shorts race

Heroes Wiki

-Welcome to the Hero/Protagonist wiki! If you can help us with this wiki please sign up and help us! Thanks! -M-NUva

Heroes Wiki

  • Anti-Heroes
  • Parody/Homage
  • Fictionalized
  • Live Action Heroes
  • Virtually Resourceful
  • Sophisticated
  • Chaotic Good
  • Reluctant Heroes
  • Determinators
  • Friend of a Villain
  • Antagonists

James Franco (This Is The End)

  • View history

Note: This article is ONLY for James Franco's fictional portrayal in 2013 film This is the End , NOT about his real-life self.

James Franco is one of the main protagonists of the 2013 horror comedy film This Is the End , portraying an exaggerated version of himself. He previously portrayed Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Saul Silver in Pineapple Express , Prince Fabious in Your Highness and Oscar Diggs in Oz the Great and Powerful . At the beginning of the movie, he throws a party at his new house, and invites various celebrities, but he is then forced to survive the Apocalypse after a sinkhole in his yard devours most of his guests. In the end, after a failed attempt to sacrifice himself, he is killed and eaten alive by Danny McBride.

  • 1.1 Housewarming Party
  • 1.2 Apocalypse Erupts
  • 1.3 Survival Plan and Living Misfortune of The Survivors
  • 1.4 Disastrous Misunderstanding
  • 1.5 Water Supply Crisis
  • 1.6 Jonah’s Possession
  • 1.7 Realization on Apocalypse
  • 1.8 Ill-Fated Exorcism
  • 1.9 Craig's Sacrifice
  • 1.10 Franco's Failed Sacrifice and Death

History [ ]

Housewarming party [ ].

At the start of the film, Franco throws a housewarming party to celebrate his brand new mansion, inviting numerous celebrities, including Jay Baruchel , Seth Rogen , Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill. When Jay and Seth arrived at James Franco’s house, they were amazed by the house’s size. Much to Jay’s dismay, Seth also made many friends there. Though able to get along with the others, Jay somewhat felt uncomfortable with everyone’s presence so he goes for the outside and stated that he wanted to smoke (though it’s actually was a mere excuse). While also at the party, James and Seth discuss ideas for a potential sequel for their movie, Pineapple Express , where the character, Red , who was portrayed by Danny McBride, would become the new drug lord after the death of the previous drug lord in the first film where he and his men would assassinate Woody Hairelson, whom planned to legalize weed that can threaten their business. James stated that his character, Saul Silver would sacrifice himself for Seth's character, Dale Denton , where he allowed himself to be devoured by the Red. Seth questions why Red would eat Saul, but James claims that he thought it would be the nastiest way to go.

Apocalypse Erupts [ ]

Jay and Seth return to Franco's after encountering after an earthquake followed by beams of blue light sucking people up to the sky, finding Franco's house unharmed, who ignores their warning until the earthquake occurs where now everyone witnesses huge flames that engulf the city. Here, Michael Cera, the man who stole his cellphone had his back impaled by a lamp post and sucked into a sinkhole that suddenly appeared. More sinkholes opened up near the first one and became the colossal one, consumes everyone that not able to avoid it. During this point, James chooses to return to the house, and takes Seth with him.

Franco becomes stressed that everyone except himself, Jay, Seth, Craig and Jonah ended up scattered on the outside. They later watch the news where the disaster occurred in every single continents on Earth that also caused the Internet to permanently shut down and nullify phone signals that renders cellphones or other kind of technology useless. Internet and signal loss was the beginning as riots erupt in all civilization that causes it to collapse, right before the TV signal is lost for good. The distressed Jay stated that he didn’t want to die in Franco’s house much to Franco's Seth’s chagrin. Everyone panics until a chopper approach. Their joy was cut short as it’s turned out that the chopper was crashed on Franco’s lawn and one of the chunk of it’s propeller vane bursts into Franco’s mansion, much to Craig’s horror and and frustration as the said chunk was caused a small cut on Craig’s finger, who exclaims "F--k yo' house, Franco!" towards James.

Survival Plan and Living Misfortune of The Survivors [ ]

After gathering the remaining supplies, everyone then slept for another day. The next day, Danny, whom turned out had survived the disaster by passing out in Franco's bathtub, wasted some of their supplies, inciting argument where a survivor’s head popped out and begged for help. Another argument ensues where Franco and his friends debated whether they should lead the man in until the man himself suddenly decapitated by mysterious presence on the outside. The survivor's head caused Danny to be panicked and kicked it in disgust, hilariously caused the others to kicked it like soccer ball until Jonah stops them. The boys then go to peek to the outside, only to find that the presence that decapitated the man no longer on sight, and so does the man's body.

Jay than deduced that Judgement Day was occurred since the city set ablaze and countless good people whom beamed to the sky was raptured where the beam brought their souls straight to Heaven by God as when this happens, Satan and the demons would be released on Earth. Jonah and the others don't believe Jay's suspicion about what has happened, but nevertheless used Franco's house as mansion as reasons why they yet to be raptured was due to their past wrongdoings.

Disastrous Misunderstanding [ ]

After spent some time by consuming drugs that they had (where at this moment Jay doesn't want to do drugs but ended up drunken with a can of beverage that turned out to be mixed with ecstacy) and make some con-movies, the boys relaxed until Emma showed up. Emma still oblivious with what happened as she thought that they dealing with zombie apocalypse (presumably because she encountered a bunch of cannibals on her way to Franco's house), and James had her stay on a room. An argument ensues between the boys because they didn't want Emma felt discomfort with her being the only girl in the shelter. Unfortunately, the argument ended up became tense and during that time, the boys mentioned about rape out loud where Emma, whom turned out heard the argument all the time but oblivious with it's full context, became angrier than ever. She forced the boys to give her all beverages and escaped, much to everyone's dismay.

Water Supply Crisis [ ]

The disastrous misunderstanding led to them forced to choose who would go to the basement through the house's lawn by choosing burnt matches among the intact ones. Craig was chosen to the outside and given lifeline. Little that he knew that his friends screwed up by forgot to hold the rope until Craig arrived near the basement's door. Realizing their mistake, the boys warned Craig that they didn't hold the rope just as Craig spotted the mysterious presence that decapitated the survivor long before, causing him to flee back into the house. But the mysterious presence pulled the rope that Craig accidentally pulled to the outside and tries to pull him back. Jonah didn't help much of the situation as when he threw the knife, he ended up impales Jay's leg, much to his shock and Jay's horror.

The exasperated Franco then yells out loud that the water supply was right below them, giving the idea to made a hole to enter through. During this time, Franco gets angry at Danny about the latter ejaculating on one of Franco's pornographic magazines, the results of which lead to a long, ridiculous argument between the two of them, while Seth watches. After Franco leaves, Danny sulks and leaves Seth to work by himself, prompting Jay to help him instead, which is successful. The success was cut-short when they limit the water consumption to survive the now hostile environment. Danny screws up again by wasting every single drop of water and even sprayed them during the heat of the argument, forcing the boys to kick Danny out. In retaliation, Danny, whom was given Franco's gun from Flyboys, shoot them all only to revealed that the gun was actually a prop gun, and was given empty bullets. After this, Franco never carries the gun with him for the rest of the movie.

Disgruntled that the bullets were the empty ones, Danny mocked his friends where he stated that Franco is a pretentious nerd, Jonah is a cunt, Craig had betrayed him, Seth is a duplicitous taint, and Jay pretended to stay in Seth's house but in reality, was staying in a hotel 2 months prior, due to their strained relationship. Afterwards, Danny departs, and the now disappointed Jonah berated Jay, which resulted the latter to punch him in the face in retaliation, before walking away to avoid further fights, while James checks on Jonah.

Jonah’s Possession [ ]

James later talks to Seth, who muses that he should have gone outside to get supplies instead of Jay and Craig. But suddenly, they notice that Jonah had passed out. They tried to wake him up, and believing that he has suffered Low-Blood Sugar state, they try to feed him with a Milky Way. Unexpectedly, Jonah briefly awakes and mutters something in Latin. James and Seth argued whether Jonah muttered in Latin or Hebrew until Jonah suddenly exclaimed, "You will drown in a river of blood. You will quiver in the shadow of Kingdom Come. The end of days is here. Judgement Day is upon you. The Apocalypse is NIGH!" before passing out again, confusing James and Seth.

Just then, they notice that puke begins to flow from Jonah’s mouth before Jonah himself unexpectedly sits up and begins spewing forth a jet of vomit on the duo before escaping in confusion. Jonah ambushes Franco by tossing him aside from behind before pounces on him. Seth tries to made him top, but this results in Jonah to nearly tossed him into the hole and goes to t-tty-f--k him. Seth tries to resist by head-butting him, but Jonah tosses him to the 2nd floor in retaliation as both Franco and Seth go in hiding. When Jonah nearly found them hiding in one of the cupboards, Seth and Franco jumped out and knocked him aside just as Jay and Craig returned and Jay knocks Jonah flat twice with his bat before they tie him inside one of the rooms in the shelter.

Realization on Apocalypse [ ]

The boys now realized that the Apocalypse indeed happened, which means God does exist and is responsible for everything that happened. Craig stated that God never made any mistakes and they actually have reasons why God has yet to rapture them. At this point, Franco states that he was once had sex with Lindsay Lohan, whom mistook him as Jake Gyllenhaal. Craig sums up that they are here due to having caused bad deeds that prevent them from being raptured. Just then, the power goes out for good, with Jay breaking the fourth wall by stating that the soundtrack sounds as if they all going insane. Craig feels pity on Jonah during their situation now with Jay stating that he knows what to do.

Ill-Fated Exorcism [ ]

The celebrities decided to set things right, starting from exercising Jonah. By using the exorcising trick in The Exorcist , Jay, with a makeshift cross out of two spatulas tied in a cross-like shape, tries to kick the demon out of Jonah's body. The nervous Seth wonders whether it will work due to Jay's compelling cries seemingly not work, but Jay insisted that it will and continue the attempt. Few compelling cries later, the possessed Jonah begins to agitate as the exorcism begins to take effect as he shake the entire bed in agony.

Unfortunately, when it appeared that Jonah can be saved, things went wrong when Seth attacks Jay and instigate an argument between them due to possessed Jonah's goading. The demon's attempt to maintain its hold over Jonah, however, went horribly right due to the duo knocked the nearby candles and set the whole room ablaze. To compound the issue, the celebrities are too distracted by another argument (Jay and Seth's bickering unwittingly reveals a stash of food Franco hid from everyone, which left Craig furious and Seth incredulous due to him only given a cracker) until the fire consumed nearly half of the room. Jonah yelled at them to put the fire out, only to be burned alive himself and chasing the boys. The fiery chase ends with the actors outside just as the remains of Franco's house falls onto Jonah's body, killing him

Craig's Sacrifice [ ]

When Jay, Seth, Craig, and Franco go for Franco's car, the demon perches on the roof near it. It notices the survivors and waiting for them. Craig, who recalled upon his wrongdoings, decided to sacrifice himself for the others. He then proceeds to taunt the winged demon as means to distract it from his friends. The plan works, with the demon blindly charges towards Craig as the man seemingly cried out his catchphrase ("Take Yo Panties Off!") for one final time. Suddenly, a miracle happened where the demon unceremoniously deflected by a divine beam, startling both and other survivors. The demon unceremoniously flies away, leaving Craig who revels upon this turn of events, yelling "F**K YEAH!" ("YEAH, YEAH!" in the TV version) as he ascended to Heaven, leaving the other three behind.

Franco's Failed Sacrifice and Death [ ]

As the surviving characters were driving with James suggesting that they head to his place in Malibu and redeem themselves in order to go into Heaven, they run into Danny again, who has become the leader of a gang of cannibals with Channing Tatum as his sex slave/pet. James fought off the gang for Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel escape and tries to get Raptured. But the Rapture fails miserably due to him flipping off Danny and saying swears to him. As James begs to be sent up again, Danny warns him that he was being petty before he joins the cannibals to eat him alive. He then gets the cannibals to chase after Seth and Jay, though the two escape and eventually get raptured into Heaven themselves while Franco may have gone to Hell after being eaten alive by McBride and the Cannibals.

  • James Franco has a cutout of Harry Osborn in his New Goblin Gear stored in the basement of his home.
  • According to Evan Goldberg, the ending of the movie had featured Danny and James Franco smoking together with Adolf Hitler (which confirmed that both of them indeed entered Hell), but was cut because Seth and Evan deemed that it would have been too much.
  • 1 Emily (Hazbin Hotel)
  • 2 Charlie Morningstar
  • 3 Alastor (Hazbin Hotel)

Variety

‘Another End' Review: Gael García Bernal and Renate Reinsve Illuminate a Pensive, Familiar Story of Love After Death

It's ironic that memory is the central theme of Piero Messina's Berlin Competition title "Another End," when so many of its twists and turns are so directly lifted from other films that it feels like you've seen them before; even watching it for the first time feels like rewatching. But if that makes this elegiac literalization of the timeless theme of "what is grief but love persevering?" a rather edgeless experience it's not a wholly unpleasant one. Less designed to provoke than to soothe, perhaps the very familiarity of much of the movie is a virtue, letting us enjoy its sleek surfaces safe in the knowledge that there's nothing much lurking in the depths to alarm us. 

Indeed, the story's central alarming incident has happened some time before the film even begins: a car crash for which Sal (Gael García Bernal) believes he was responsible and in which his wife died. Unable to cope with his guilt and grief, Sal resorts to replaying her memories - a tech which this near-future society has perfected - and even attempts suicide. His sister Ebe (Bérénice Bejo), who is suspiciously tireless in her efforts to comfort him, encourages him to use the services of the company she works for, Another End.

At the company's big gleaming facility, they can download a dead person's memories into a consenting "host" essentially reanimating them in a different body. For a short time, you can have your loved one back. Apparently not realizing that we don't tend to make the best decisions while in the throes of grief, and expressly against the wishes of his shattered father-in-law, Sal eventually agrees to the procedure. Lucky for him, the "compatible" body found to house his dead partner Zoe, is that of Ava (Renate Reinsve), whom we later learn is a stripper in a high-end fetish club who is carrying traumas and secrets of her own. 

Aside from the obvious questions like whether someone's memories really are them, and whether you would be able to be in the same love with a person in a different body, there are a bunch of ethical, practical and philosophical issues that this process throws up. Messina and his three co-writers Valentina Gaddi, Sebastiano Melloni and Giacomo Bendotti try rather inelegantly to account for them, by making up a mess of rules and conditions that don't seem particularly based in the movie's (fictional) science, many of which are delivered to us in explanatory speeches by Ebe's sinister co-worker Doctor Doyle (Pal Aron), who apparently got his PhD in Exposition. So the download is only for a pre-arranged number of "sessions" - just enough, the company claims, to allow you to say a proper farewell, as though those exist. Hosts do not remember their own real lives while they are hosting, and do not remember their sessions when they return. Technicians come and pick up the host when they go to sleep so they can wake up, back as themselves in a big warehouse facility for no other real reason than that all the hosts unzipping and emerging from their white plastic cocoons makes for a coolly dystopian sci-fi image. And so on. 

There's a little of Kathryn Bigelow's "Strange Days" here, a little of "The Sixth Sense" (an impression reinforced by the presence of Olivia Williams, playing another Another End client) and a lot of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But there are also less exalted touchpoints like "Surrogates" and other, better films from the more intimate end of the scale such as Christos Nikou's "Apples." But one way "Another End," falls short of the pantheon it references, is that Messina appears less interested in the psychological effect that having more time with a vanished loved one would actually have on the grieving process, and more concerned with piling on the kind of twists that genre-literate viewers will likely have guessed long in advance.

Still, Messina's studied, elegant filmmaking - already on display, like his preoccupation with grief, in his debut feature "The Wait" - lends a kind of smooth gravitas even to the parts of the story that least earn it, with Fabrizio La Palombara's classy cinematography and Bruno Falanga's achy, nostalgic score, peppered with soundtrack cuts that sound vaguely like something you remember hearing before, especially useful in that regard. And Bernal and Reinsve have such watchable faces - his all handsome and haunted, hers as fresh as a portrait on which the paint hasn't yet dried - that it almost makes sense of the final shift in the film's axis. As "Another End" moves into, well, yet another end, all the sci-fi scaffolding, rickety to begin with, falls away and its true intentions becomes clear. Though Sal and Ava's relationship might necessitate a new Facebook status option as "it's complicated" really doesn't cover it, the movie itself is simply a romance, just one that Messina takes an extraordinarily long way round to get to.

More from Variety

  • Kristen Stewart Says the 'Era of Queer Films Being So Pointedly Only That Is Done': I Shouldn't 'Have to Stand on a F--ing Soapbox'
  • Olivier Assayas on Fears His Pandemic Movie 'Suspended Time' Would 'Come Off as Bizarre' and Refusing the 'Hollywood System' (EXCLUSIVE)
  • Greek Filmmaker Yorgos Zois, Director of Berlinale Encounters Premiere 'Arcadia,' Developing Mystery-Drama Series 'Play' (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Another End' Review: Gael García Bernal and Renate Reinsve Illuminate a Pensive, Familiar Story of Love After Death

James Franco Created Tons Of Art Featured In His New Movie 'This Is The End'

James Franco is reuniting with his pals Seth Rogen and Jason Segel among many others in apocalypse comedy "This is the End" out this weekend.  

In the film, you'll see a lot of artwork of the actors referencing previous works some have collaborated on together .  

All of it was created by Franco. 

He even put together a grand mural of the main cast in Los Angeles.

Tons of artwork that James Franco painted for "This is the End" will be seen in the film.

in the end james franco

They'll hang in Franco's home.

in the end james franco

Franco set out to paint all of his main cast mates.

in the end james franco

Franco took a walk down memory lane with two large paintings of himself, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel from their short-lived series "Freaks and Geeks."

in the end james franco

Franco also painted a few of the crew from their time in "Pineapple Express."

in the end james franco

The biggest piece of artwork Franco undertook was a giant mural of the cast.

in the end james franco

If you're in Los Angeles, you can check it out on Melrose Ave.

in the end james franco

Here's how to get there.

Here's the entire crew in the film.

in the end james franco

And here they are together on Franco's mural.

in the end james franco

Here's a better look.

in the end james franco

Take a look at behind-the-scenes video showing how it all came together.

Now get ready for another film out this weekend ...

in the end james franco

The Incredible 75-Year Evolution Of The Superman Logo >

in the end james franco

  • Main content

With The Tourist, Jamie Dornan Has Finally Shed His Christian Grey Problem

Discover how Jamie Dornan has shed his Fifty Shades of Grey image by starring in The Tourist.

  • Jamie Dornan faced public scrutiny and typecasting after portraying Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise.
  • Dornan is shedding his Christian Grey image through his outstanding performance in the TV series The Tourist.
  • The Tourist's popularity and Dornan's portrayal of a relatable character have helped separate him from the backlash of Fifty Shades.

Jamie Dornan is a talented Irish actor who made his screen debut in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette in 2006. After honing his craft and raising his profile over the following decade, Dornan became a famous household name by starring as Christian Grey in the mega-popular Fifty Shades of Grey franchise opposite Dakota Johnson. Based on the bestselling erotic novel series by E.L. James, the Fifty Shades saga follows the steamy sadomasochistic exploits of Anastasia Steele (Johnson), a college graduate who is swept off her feet by the dashing yet sexually daring billionaire, Christian Grey.

Despite landing a plum starring role in Fifty Shades of Grey , Dornan has faced public scrutiny and become somewhat pigeonholed after portraying the character three times in the cinematic franchise. Much like Robert Pattinson has done with Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga , Dornan has worked hard to avoid typecasting and separate himself from his association with Christian Grey, a character that the moviegoing public has increasingly mocked for being campy, sleazy, and perverted.

Fortunately, Dornan has found refuge in The Tourist, an outstanding Australian TV crime series in which he stars as The Man, an Irish stranger with amnesia who suddenly awakes in an Australian hospital and must find answers about who he is and where he came from. Dornan gives such a terrific performance in The Tourist that he's starting to overcome the stigma of his longstanding affiliation with Christian Grey and liberate himself from the shackles of public ridicule and professional typecast.

Jamie Dornan's Biggest Roles Since Fifty Shades

Jamie dornan's persona took a hit following fifty shades.

Along with movie star Dakota Johnson , the success of the popular Fifty Shades franchise between 2015 and 2018 came with a reputational price for Jamie Dornan. By playing Christian Grey thrice in four years, Dornan's public persona became conflated with his cinematic counterpart. Since it was Dornan's first major recurring movie role and was not well known beforehand, the moviegoing masses instantly associated the actor with the fictional character of Christian Grey.

Dornan's public persona was mocked, dismissed, and misperceived as the callous playboy he was portraying onscreen. The public loathed Dornan's fictional character and couldn't quite separate the artist from the art. Meanwhile, obsessive fans of the bestselling novels were irate over how Christian Grey was depicted onscreen. In a 2021 interview with People , Dornan addressed the public backlash, stating:

"There's nothing like Fifty Shades in terms of, it was based on books and we were staying very close to these books. These books were loved by fandom. Really loved, obsessively loved and despised by every critic. Real critics hated the books. You know that you're going to have these movies that are for the fans, that the fans are going to love, that are gonna make a ton of money. But you know that the critics will be just, you know, licking their lips and that's exactly what happened. And we knew that was going to happen so you're watching that play out and at times that's f––– difficult."

Despite the burden Dornan felt after feeling "the wrath of hatred" by the public, the actor does not regret his experience working on the Fifty Shades movies. Dornan understands that, despite the controversy and backlash, the financial success of Fifty Shades has afforded him more career opportunities, including his appearance in the recent Best Picture winner, Belfast , and the highly acclaimed crime series The Tourist . When speaking with GQ in 2021, Dornan stated:

"Look, put it this way: It's done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion. Every working actor would say the same thing. It's provided — a lot. There's no shame in saying it's transformed my life and my family's life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be."

How The Tourist Has Helped Jamie Dornan Shed His Christian Grey Image

The Tourist poster

The Tourist

By playing a much different character than Christian Grey in The Tourist , Jamie Dornan has begun to unburden himself from his association with Christian Grey. In The Tourist, Dornan depicts a mysterious stranger introduced as The Man. When the series begins, The Man suddenly awakes with amnesia in a rural Australian hospital with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Viewers are put directly into the shoes and first-person perspective of The Man, allowing for much more sympathy as the series unfolds. Moreover, as The Man begins to gather clues about his cryptic past, viewers are complicit with the character's detective findings, which also gives them a sense of ownership of the mysterious cipher.

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

Best Jamie Dornan Performances, Ranked

None of these character dynamics were afforded to Dornan in the Fifty Shades series. Instead, the movie is seen through the eyes of protagonist Ana Steele, with Christian Grey's mysterious seduction giving way to a harmfully abusive bad guy by the trilogy's conclusion. In the simplest terms, Dornan becomes more unlikable the more time he plays Grey on screen. By contrast, Dornan becomes more likable the more viewers learn about The Man's past in The Tourist . Apart from the significant increase in empathy for The Man compared to Christian Grey, the frequency and popularity of The Man continue to help separate the two characters in the eyes of the public.

The Important Popularity of The Tourist

For example, Dornan has portrayed Christian Grey in Fifty Shades for roughly six hours of screen time across three movies. With the recent completion of The Tourist Season 2, Dornan has played The Man for roughly 12 hours. By playing The Man twice as long as Christian Grey, Dornan is starting to reap the benefits of starring in a popular, acclaimed TV show and has begun to distance himself from the stigma associated with Fifty Shades . The Tourist also gives Dornan the chance to play an Irish character, the authenticity of which only makes his performance more believable and his character more compelling as a result. In Season 2, the action moves from Australia to Ireland, giving Dornan an even greater opportunity to play someone closer to himself in real life than Gray ever did.

The Tourist also became the most-watched TV drama in the UK in 2022, indicating long-term success as the show overhauls its setting in Season 2. When asked about the show's immense popularity, Dornan told Digital Spy :

"Honestly, I could sit here and go, 'There's nothing else on TV like it'. But it was kind of its own thing. Jack and Harry, I feel, are in a really interesting creative vein at the moment. I love all kinds of TV, and I'm really up for watching really straight, linear, expected dramas, but I do think this just whacked people over the head a bit. Like, what is happening? What is going on? What am I meant to feel about this guy and the insane situations he's found himself in? And these cartoon-like characters that are coming in and out of it?"

The Man stands by a curtain in The Tourist

By starring as the face of The Tourist and becoming synonymous with the acclaimed HBO Max original show , Dornan has admirably distanced himself from the backlash he experienced after starring in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. The public no longer only associates Dornan with the loathsome Christian Grey and instead has come to embrace the stellar Irish actor for his riveting performance as The Man, a character that is much more relatable and sympathetic. Even when sordid aspects of The Man's past come to light, Dornan plays the character with such pathos and unpredictability that he remains a joy to watch throughout the TV series rather than a sadomasochistic pain to bear in the Fifty Shades movie series.

Stream on Netflix

IMAGES

  1. This Is the End Interview

    in the end james franco

  2. James Franco Movies

    in the end james franco

  3. This Is the End (2013)

    in the end james franco

  4. This Is the End (2013)

    in the end james franco

  5. Go Inside James Franco's Party With Pictures From This Is the End

    in the end james franco

  6. The 14 Most James Franco-y Roles That James Franco Has Ever Played

    in the end james franco

VIDEO

  1. James Franco Devolution (2024-1997) #shorts #trending

  2. James Franco Apocalypse! #funny #comedy #foryou

  3. James Franco || This Is End || Edit #jamesfranco #thisisend #jamesfrancoedit #fypシ #keşfet

  4. This is the End 2013 James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill

  5. Glory at the End (James 1:2-4) #biblestudy #shorts

  6. James Franco

COMMENTS

  1. This Is the End (2013)

    99+ Photos Comedy Fantasy Six Los Angeles celebrities are stuck in James Franco's house after a series of devastating events just destroyed the city. Inside, the group not only have to face the apocalypse, but themselves. Directors Evan Goldberg Seth Rogen Writers Seth Rogen Evan Goldberg Jason Stone Stars James Franco Jonah Hill Seth Rogen

  2. This is The End Trailer 2013 Movie

    17K 8.1M views 10 years ago This is the End Trailer 2013 - Official movie trailer in HD - starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson - directed by Seth Rogen and...

  3. 10 Crazy Behind-The-Scenes Facts About This Is The End

    Published Dec 11, 2020 This Is The End was a hilarious outing for James Franco and Seth Rogen, and here are 10 awesome behind-the-scenes facts about the film's production.

  4. This Is the End

    (L-R) James Franco, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson in "This Is The End." (L-R) James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel in "This Is The End." (L-R) Jonah Hill, Rihanna and Christopher Mintz ...

  5. This Is the End movie review & film summary (2013)

    "This is the End" is a very funny, suspenseful and occasionally disgusting horror-comedy from the "Superbad" team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. ... People die horrible deaths (Michael Cera's wage of sin is a particularly gruesome paycheck) and while James Franco's house makes for a comically rendered safe haven, the filmmakers assure us it's ...

  6. This Is the End

    This Is the End is a 2013 American apocalyptic comedy horror film written, directed and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in their directorial debuts.It is a feature-length film adaptation of Rogen and Goldberg's short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse (2007), which was directed by Jason Stone, who serves as an executive producer on the film. . Starring James Franco, Jonah Hill ...

  7. This Is the End (2013)

    Six Los Angeles celebrities are stuck in James Franco's house after a series of devastating events just destroyed the city. Inside, the group not only have to face the apocalypse, but themselves.

  8. This Is the End Official International Trailer (2013)

    This Is the End Official International Trailer (2013) - James Franco Movie HD Rotten Tomatoes Trailers 15.8M subscribers Subscribe Subscribed 3.8K 798K views 10 years ago

  9. This Is the End: Film Review

    James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and their friends play themselves in the apocalyptic horror comedy. The seemingly exhausted gross-out comedy genre gets a strange temporary reprieve with This ...

  10. 'This Is the End,' With Seth Rogen and James Franco

    From left, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride in "This Is the End." ... "This Is the End" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or ...

  11. 'This is the End' Cast Interview: Apocalypse, Grisly Deaths, & Playing

    On the set of 'This is the End,' James Franco, Jonah Hill, and other cast members open up about grisly celebrity deaths and playing heightened versions of themselves. Moviegoers have put 2012, and the promised Mayan Apocalypse, behind them - but the end of the world is still a hot topic in Hollywood. Every year, summer blockbuster movies remind ...

  12. James Franco and the All-Star Cast of This Is the End

    James Franco and the All-Star Cast of This Is the End. ... This Is the End plays on many levels—"part meta-satire," as Baruchel puts it, "part group therapy." The cast members were encouraged to ...

  13. The Untold Truth Of This Is The End

    "This Is the End" kicks off with a party at James Franco's house, and the who's who of Hollywood is in attendance. Just as the party hits full throttle, the rapture begins, and a hailstorm of...

  14. What Happened To James Franco?

    Published Nov 9, 2023 James Franco hasn't starred in a movie since 2019, which has led to speculation about whether he'll return following the controversy surrounding him. Summary James Franco's career in the film industry has stagnated since 2019, with fewer notable roles and projects, possibly due to controversies and allegations.

  15. This Is the End (2013)

    This Is the End (2013) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. Movies. ... James Franco / makeup artist: James Franco Joe Giles ... mold department: KNB EFX Group Brian Goehring ... mold department: KNB EFX Group David Grasso ...

  16. Every Cameo In This Is The End Ranked

    In "This Is the End," Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill and others deal with the apocalyptic fallout of a party. We examine the celebrity cameos.

  17. This is the End

    Watch the hilarious scene from the comedy movie This is the End, where James Franco shows off his art collection to his friends. Enjoy the laughs and the soundtrack featuring Rarin, Patsy Cline ...

  18. Where Was This Is the End Filmed? All Filming Locations

    Los Angeles, California. Additional portions for 'This Is The End' were also seemingly taped on location in Los Angeles, a major city in Southern California. It is possible that the cast and crew members utilized the locales of LA to record a few exterior scenes for the movie. Apart from the James Franco-starrer, the City of Angels has ...

  19. For 'This Is the End's' James Franco, it never really seems to be

    James Franco, author of "The Danger of Four Boys." (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) By Steven Zeitchik. July 6, 2013 7 AM PT. The snow is piling up on the streets of small-town Utah, and James ...

  20. James Franco (This Is The End)

    James Franco (This Is The End) This article's content is marked as James Franco (This Is The End) contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature articles are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.

  21. 'Another End' Review: Gael García Bernal and Renate Reinsve ...

    It's ironic that memory is the central theme of Piero Messina's Berlin Competition title "Another End," when so many of its twists and turns are so directly lifted from other films that it feels ...

  22. This Is The End (2013)

    Summary:Six Los Angeles celebrities are stuck in James Franco's house after a series of devastating events just destroyed the city. Inside, the group not onl...

  23. James Franco's Artwork in 'This Is the End' [Photos]

    James Franco is reuniting with his pals Seth Rogen and Jason Segel among many others in apocalypse comedy "This is the End" out this weekend. Advertisement In the film, you'll see a lot of...

  24. With The Tourist, Jamie Dornan Has Finally Shed His ...

    Breaking Down the Disturbing Allegations Surrounding James Franco and Vincent Gallo's New Film ... Discover what transpires at the end of the shocking Netflix documentary Lover, Stalker, Killer.

  25. James Franco art speech from This Is The End

    0:00 / 0:28 James Franco art speech from This Is The End Gus Penton 17 subscribers Subscribe Subscribed Share 9.3K views 9 years ago James Franco teaches Jay Baruchel a lesson in art....