At one point, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg tried to recruit Daniel Radcliffe for their raunchy comedy This is The End. But an honest Radcliffe told the two writers he wasn’t too thrilled by the material they gave him.
How Emma Watson ended up in ‘This Is the End’
This Is the End was a 2013 comedy film where celebrities mostly played themselves dealing with an apocalyptic crisis. Evan Goldberg wrote and directed the feature with Seth Rogen, who ended up starring in the movie as well.
Goldberg and Rogen recruited many celebrities for their star-studded project, including Emma Watson. But initially Watson had no idea what to make of the movie’s premise.
“I thought it sounded crazy,” Watson once told Flicks and Bits(via Digital Spy). “I remember trying to get my head around it on the phone to my agent who was like, ‘So, it’s Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill and James Franco and Danny McBride and all these other comedians. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are making it, and all the actors are playing themselves, and it’s going to be the end of the world… and they want you in the movie.’”
Despite her confusion, Watson was so entertained by the film’s script that she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do the movie.
“I’m like, ‘What? why? How?’ I had so many questions. I just remember reading it and thinking it’s hilarious, I thought it was the most crazy, absurd premise for a story I’d ever heard. I had to do it,” she said.
Daniel Radcliffe turned down Seth Rogen’s ‘This Is the End’ because of its script
Way before Watson was cast, Daniel Radcliffe was the first Harry Potter alum that Goldberg and Rogen wanted to hire for the movie. But according to Goldberg’s own admission, the script was in a different place when it got to Radcliffe. Which played a part in Radcliffe not doing his movie of him.
“Two years before we brought it to anybody else, we brought it to Daniel Radcliffe and he rejected it because it was s***ty, it wasn’t good enough,” Goldberg once told buzzfeed.
Goldberg further confident that he and Rogen felt Radcliffe was right about the initial draft of the script. But they took Radcliffe’s rejection as more of an educational experience.
“It was a bad early version. He taught us a lesson. We learned something from him that day,” Goldberg said.
Still, Goldberg felt things might have turned out differently if they asked Radcliffe to do the film later than they did.
“We got too excited, we jumped the gun on that. If we waited another year, I bet he would have done it,” he added.
What Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen changed in ‘This Is the End’
Thanks to Radcliffe giving them perspective, Goldberg and Rogen were able to pinpoint the early script’s flaws and adjust accordingly. This helped refine the script and comedy to be much subtler than how it was originally written.
“The initial version was too obvious,” Goldberg said. “Daniel Radcliffe–Harry Potter jokes and James Franco [as a] fashion-snobby materialistic guy. Jonah Hill was being meant to everybody. And so we changed it all. We made Franco have this endearing love for Seth and we made Jonah turn into this big softy and we just mixed things up. We made it a little too obvious at first.”
Goldberg revealed there were other celebrities they tried to recruit for the movie. Edward Norton, Elizabeth Banks, and Bill Hader were some of the actors Rogen and Goldberg wanted to include in their adventure. But instead of the script’s quality, scheduling issues kept these other actors from joining the movie’s already stacked ensemble cast.