‘This is The End’ Original Ending, Who they Wanted for Cameos, and Other Spoilers

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By Kevin Crossman

Now that This is The End has opened and delivered on the highly anticipated goods, there are some news reports coming out that have shed additional light on the film. What follows contains spoilers but worth checking out if you’ve seen the film.

Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, and James Franco in This is The End

Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, and James Franco in This is The End

The film’s very satisfying ending in heaven with the Backstreet Boys was actually a reshoot additionally shot footage. The film was to end with Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel finding their way to heaven via redemption, but this left test audience feeling unsatisfied according to a Boston.com article. ‘‘Overwhelmingly people were like, ‘What happens in heaven? What happens in heaven?’’’ Rogen said in a recent interview. ‘‘We had shown people so much crazy (expletive), we didn’t expect them to want more.’’  A scene in heaven had been previously scripted with appearances by Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, but was cut because Rogen and cowriter Evan Goldberg thought it was cheesy. So, they rewrote the ending with the Backstreet Boys - though budget limited the special effects to the halos and not some of the other effects they wanted. The additional scene was shot in one day.

The saddest part of the heaven reshoot was that as scripted Seth and Jay would have met Morgan Freeman, who they assumed to be God. As Goldberg described it for Vulture:

“The whole joke was, he shows up, and he’s like, ‘I’m God.’ And they’re like, ‘You’re God?’ And Jay [Baruchel] goes, ‘Wait, so when we were in Million Dollar Baby together, were you God then? I don’t get it.’ And then God shows up and he’s like, ‘We’re just fucking with you. This is Morgan Freeman. We just play this joke on people when they come to heaven now. Do you guys want to get high and play some video games?‘” But Freeman wasn’t game, “he rejected us for some crazy reason,” says Goldberg.

This is The End features a number of memorable cameos. According to Moviehole, there were other celebs who were invited to participate but were unable to due to scheduling conflicts or location problems (the film was shot in Louisiana, not Los Angeles).

  • Bill Hader (Superbad costar)
  • Edward Norton
  • Elizabeth Banks (Rogen’s costar in Zack and Miri Make a Porno and The 40 Year-Old Virgin)
  • Cameron Diaz (Rogen’s costar in The Green Hornet)
  • Daniel Radcliff and Mila Kunis (both offered the role that ultimately went to Radcliff’s Potter costar Emma Watson)

Ah, what might have been. Would have loved to see any of these folks in the movie - especially Banks and Kunis. Maybe they’ll be up for the sequel (haha, that’s a joke, folks). But, in all seriousness, who wouldn’t want to see a “prequel” focusing on the “Michael Cera” character?

4 Responses to “‘This is The End’ Original Ending, Who they Wanted for Cameos, and Other Spoilers”

  1. Jon

    I’d pay to see the downfall of Michael Cera. All my friends were agreeing that we wanted more! And Mila Kunis would have been heavenly.

  2. Kevin Crossman

    That cameo by Freeman would have been even better than the cameo by the red-hot star that actually takes place toward the end of the film.

  3. Chris

    Wish Hader could’ve been in there, but really the cast is pretty spectacular already. I also prefer the actual ending to the original idea. The more I think about this movie, the more I love it.

  4. ASFan

    Emma Watson was a better choice than Mila Kunis because it was an alternative to the females we usually see in these kinds of movies.


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