There’s a strong possibility that our society has now progressed beyond the “weed LOL” genre of cinema. However, in 2008, Pineapple Express was a formidable box office hit, earning over $100 million globally and existing as one of the more prominent comedies of its time. A sequel seemed like such a no-brainer for two stoners as battle-tested as Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) and Saul Silver (James Franco). Per Deadline, star and co-writer Rogen also saw a foll0w-up as an inevitability, which he revealed when he was a guest recently on The Howard Stern Show. Sony, however, wasn’t on board, despite the fact that the movie banked four times its original budget.
“Thanks to the Sony hack, you can actually find the email when Sony decided to kill the movie and not make it,” Rogen shared with Stern. “It was something we were very open to several years ago, but Sony was not that interested in it.” Rogen also spoke to the lack of creative and financial support for Pineapple Express, noting that those involved were paid very little. Though Sony has never given an official reason for not moving forward with a sequel, Rogen assumes that the creative team’s insistence on getting more money the second time around (which is to be expected of any successful property) served as the nail in the proverbial coffin. “Studios… they don’t like giving away money.”
As Deadline points out, The Daily Beast previously reported on leaked Sony emails from 2014, which show then co-chairman of Sony Amy Pascal actively fighting against producer Judd Apatow’s proposal for $50 million to make the follow-up, saying, “we don’t need to run it at 50 just because Judd is saying 50, keep it at 45.” It’s kind of hard to believe that Sony couldn’t quite find the extra $5 million to capitalize on a fan favorite, but perhaps it was for the best: Later that same year, Franco was busted for attempting to meet up with an underage teen. Then, four years later, Franco would find himself at the center of sexual misconduct allegations from numerous women and again a year later, so handing him a franchise wouldn’t look too great for the entertainment conglomerate. If lingering fans are still really desperate for another hit, there’s always this phony sequel trailer that Sony unleashed on April Fool’s Day seven years ago.