The backstory on This Is the End is that it grew out of a comedy short Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel knocked out right after Knocked Up, called Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse. The idea: It’s the end of the world. Rogen and Baruchel, holed up in a barricaded apartment, are the only survivors. And they can’t stand each other. Perfect little high-concept horror-comedy, yeah? In fact, almost too perfect: The short got optioned without ever getting any kind of run; the only visible part left is this here trailer. (“Look at this place! This fucking sucks!” “It’s not that much worse than our old apartment.”)
In the seven years it has kicked around development, the project got super-sized: Seth and Jay have hauled in a bunch of their old Apatow extended-family pals, playing themselves as they try to live out this apocalypse together. (The ancillary Apatovians are here, too: They just get killed off right away.) It’s a nice dovetailing of concept and fodder: Hopefully, we’re in line for Seth Rogen spending large swaths of this movie alternating between making fun of his own diminishing star wattage and his dude James Franco’s fancy-shmancy art-school degrees. As for whether that actually warrants a full movie — well, let’s just say proper execution will be instrumental. For now, then, just focus on enjoying Rihanna slapping the holy hell out of Michael Cera.