For all the “brave” or “risky” movie projects Annapurna Pictures backs, this one might be their biggest dare so far. When was the last time there was an R-rated animated film in wide-release theaters for adults? Aside from the Ralph Bakshi films from the 1970s, the “Heavy Metal” movie in the 1980s and after 1999’s “South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut,” the pickins are pretty slim (and we’re talking theatrical, not DVD releases). Animated films are mostly the domain of kids movies, but Annapurna does have quite the project in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “Sausage Party.”
The animated project now has a release date of June 3, 2016, one week before Sony’s own “The Amazing Spider-Man 3.” The voice cast, which is already kind of loaded, absurd and talented and just added Paul Rudd and Danny McBride. What’s it about? Well, it’s a raunchy comedy about a sausage trying to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, the movie’s hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale.
So imagine that as voiced by Seth Rogen and friends and we’d wager there’s probably a lot of F-bombs. Rogen and co. have been riding high with all their projects lately. “This Is The End” was one of 2013’s most successful summer comedies and Rogen’s latest “Neighbors” was another smash victory. So presumably if the same crowds come out in droves, the movie should work. But animation in the R-rated comedy field is a question mark of sorts. And animation isn’t cheap, either. But with a 2016 summer release date, Annapurna and their distributors, Sony Pictures, are clearly feeling confident about the screenplay.
The voice cast is pretty stellar too and includes Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek,Edward Norton, David Krumholtz, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader and Anders Holm on top of the just announced Rudd and McBride.
Update: /Film’s got some Seth Rogen quotes from Howard Stern that give some great flavor/tone context. There’s apparently a food orgy and it’s seriously filthy.
“We thought it would be funny to do an R-rated Pixar-style movie,” said Rogen. “Its fucking filthy. It’s really really really dirty, but it looks like a Pixar movie.”
It’s about food in a grocery store that believes when you get purchased all your wildest dreams come true. They don’t realize that you get eaten. And its about them slowly realizing what happens in their after life. It’s kind of like Toy Story, its a journey — they’re trying to get from one end of the store to the other,” said Rogen. ”It’s fucking crazy, its nuts”
Even Sacha Baron Cohen thought it was outrageous hwhen he was shown a sketch version of the movie.
“Sausage Party appalled him [Sacha Baron Cohen] in some ways. We brought him to a screening where we watched the hand drawn version of the movie and he could not believe it — ‘that is the single craziest fucking thing I’ve seen in my whole life’ He said, ‘Just know you’ve gotten successful enough to make the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’”
Other recent release date additions and changes of note: Sony is also feeling good about “Sex Tape” with Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz and have bumped it up a week to July 18th. Warner Bros. has also dated their Lauren Graham-starring family film “Max” for January 30, 2015 (sounds unfortunate). Universal is also feeling pretty confident about Luc Besson‘s “Lucy” actioner starring Scarlett Johannson, and they’ve bumped it from an August release to July 25th. Finally, Open Road will release the Sean Penn-starring action drama “The Gunman” on February 20, 2015. That means no Oscar for Penn, but here’s a new image from the film while you wait for it.