HBO Max has released the first trailer for An American Pickle. This is the latest comedy from Seth Rogen and it reunites him with filmmaker Brandon Trost. Rogen and Trost worked together quite a few times in the past, with Trost serving as cinematographer on movies like This is the End, Neighbors and The Interview. But now, Trost is making his feature directorial debut, and it is something. It features Rogen playing two roles, executing a truly outlandish premise.
The trailer opens up with one of Seth Rogen’s characters, Herschel, in his Europe circa 1919. He manages to bring his family to America and things are looking up. Then, Herschel falls into a big container of pickles and is, himself, pickled, only to wake up 100 years later in a radically changed world. He is also something of a celebrity, given the scientific miracle of a specimen he is. The meat of the story kicks in when he finds his only living relative, Ben, also played by Rogen. While there are darkly comedic moments, there is a tremendous amount of sincerity and emotion in a movie with such a seemingly ridiculous premise. It might not be what people are expecting.
Sony Pictures had originally intended on giving this a theatrical release. And it’s easy to see why. Seth Rogen has become a truly bankable name in Hollywood, both in front of and behind the camera. But, given the current situation, they decided to make a streaming play instead. So, HBO Max picked up the rights and people will be able to stream this from the comfort of their own homes next month. What is perhaps most impressive is that the movie essentially had to be shot twice, with Rogen shooting all of his scenes as Herschel, then coming back a month later to do Ben’s parts. The trailer reveals it is pretty seamless.
An American Pickle centers on Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who makes his way to America with his family in 1920. He has dreams of making a better life for himself and his loved ones. One day at his job at the pickle factory, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The liquid preserves him perfectly, allowing him to emerge in present-day Brooklyn, New York unaged. But when he seeks out his family, Herschel learns that his only surviving relative is his great grandson, Ben Greenbaum. Ben is a mild-mannered computer coder and the two have a challenging time trying to understand one another.
The movie was adapted by screenwriter Simon Rich from his popular 2013 New Yorker series Sell Out. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver are producing, with Rich, Alex McAtee and Ted Gidlow executive producing. An American Pickle is set to arrive on August 6 exclusively via the HBOMax.com streaming app. Be sure to check out the brand new trailer for yourself.