Seth Rogen Comedy ‘An American Pickle’ Moving From Sony To HBO Max | Film News


HBO Max has acquired another piece of IP. This time it’s the upcoming Seth Rogen comedy An American Pickle, which the streamer has acquired from Sony. It will release the movie under its Warner Max label in the summer.


Rogen plays dual roles in the film, including Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling worker who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his family. While working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day.


But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum – also played by Rogen – a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.


Rogen’s frequent cinematographer Brandon Trost directed the film from a script by Simon Rich, who adapted his own 2013 New Yorker novella series Sell Out.


An American Pickle was actually never assigned a release date by Sony, but the studio had planned for a theatrical release later this year. However, with the calendar becoming crowded due to multiple coronavirus-related movie delays, the studio probably thought it had little chance of making an impact when surrounded by pushed back blockbusters.


Thus, they’ve cut their losses and sold the film to HBO Max, which gives the streamer another new piece of content to market to potential subscribers. The streamer also acquired the rights to the Melissa McCarthy comedy Superintelligence in similar circumstances last year.


Rogen said in a statement: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with HBO Max to release this film. We worked very hard and put as much of ourselves in this story as possible. We’re very proud of the end result and we can’t wait for people to get to see it”.


HBO Max’s Kevin Reilly said: “HBO Max is in the market for motion pictures that stand out. And An American Pickle does stand out — with Seth in this wonderfully original, funny, and heartfelt film that we look forward to debuting this summer”, while Jessie Henderson, also at the streamer, added:


“I am a huge fan of the original New Yorker story Sell Out and am in awe of how brilliantly Seth, Simon and Brandon translated it to film as only they could have”.


Rogen and his cast and crew probably would have preferred a theatrical release, as anyone would. But Rogen is also a longtime producer, so he likely understands the economics at play here. Plus, more people will probably see the film now. HBO Max debuts next month. We’ll see how it performs compared to its rival streamers who also recently launched.



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