With its hilarious characters and over-the-top action, the 2008 comedy Pineapple Express blew away the expectations of the typical weed-focused film. From conception to debut, its behind-the-scenes details prove that making the movie was just as entertaining as watching it.
The producers, director, and even the stars of the film have all shared secrets from the Pineapple Express production - including budget conflicts, failed sponsorships, and a cameo from a now-infamous adult film star.
Inspiration for Pineapple Express came not from the personal experiences of the writers, but from a performance by Academy Award-nominated actor Brad Pitt.
Producer and co-writer Judd Apatow noted that the idea for the film was inspired by Pitt’s portrayal of Floyd in the 1993 crime film True Romance. As Apatow explained in 2008:
I thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys.
Floyd became the basis for James Franco's Saul, with the storyline built around his troubles.
One of the early scenes of the 2008 comedy centers around the main characters’ awe of an intricately crafted cross joint. Since then, fans of the film have flocked to social media to publish how-to videos to create their own versions.
They could have just asked Pineapple Express star Seth Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg. Apparently, their "expertise" in joint rolling came in handy for the movie. On the 10th anniversary of the film, Rogen revealed the truth behind the joints on Twitter:
In #PineappleExpress, me and my co-writer Evan had to roll all the cross joints needed to film (about 100) ourselves because nobody else on the crew could roll them properly.
Given the subject matter of the film, the creators wanted a marketing campaign that would attract the right audience. Beyond the red band trailer that was released (and initially leaked), filmmakers took to outdoor advertising to attract viewers.
Rogen explained that the studio created a billboard for the film that included actual smoke billowing from the signage. However, the realism of the board created issues for residents. He tweeted:
We DID have a smoking billboard for #PineappleExpress that got shut down by the fire department because people keep [sic] thinking it was on fire.
Pineapple Express met several difficulties on its journey from concept to release. One such road bump involved the budget for the film.
Originally, the filmmakers requested a budget of $40 million to make the film. However, Sony hesitated in offering that large of a budget to what was considered a stoner film. Instead, the filmmakers were given only $25 million to complete their project.
As Rogen reflected on the budget wrangling, "A $40 million [budget] would've been nice... Because it's a weed movie, you get $25 million."