All Seth Rogen wanted to do was make an R-rated animated comedy about cartoon food. But when he submitted his new movie "Sausage Party" to the MPAA, they claimed the 8-minute orgy scene within the film went way too far and threatened to slap an NC-17 rating on the flick.
"I wish I could have been there, honestly, because I imagine a very heated debate did occur," Seth said about the closed-door meetings that must have went down at the MPAA offices. The pushback came as no surprise to Seth, who admitted to Howard that he had added several elements to the orgy scene that he never expected would make the final cut.
"We probably added six things into the orgy that we were like, 'OK, these are like our sacrificial lambs,'" Seth said. But to his surprise, the MPAA asked for very few specific edits. One thing they did want taken out involved the very hairy scrotum of a piece of pita (voiced by David Krumholtz).
"We digitally shaved the pita bread's ballsack," Seth told Howard. Trimming that character's pubes down proved good enough for the MPAA, and the movie was given the R rating that Rogen wanted.
Perhaps an even bigger challenge that Seth faced, though, was getting the movie made in the first place. After he and his writing partner Evan Goldberg finished the script and tried selling it to major studios, the twosome heard nothing but "no." It wasn't until Megan Ellison, daughter of billionaire Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, decided to take a chance on "Sausage Party" that the project got off the ground.
"Her thing is that she kind of takes movies that no one else wants to make and then makes them," Seth said of Ellison, whose production company Annapurna Pictures has primarily stuck to backing high-caliber films that eventually rake in Oscar noms, like "American Hustle," "Zero Dark Thirty," and "Foxcatcher." She believed in "Sausage Party" enough to put up part of the money needed to make it, which reduced the financial risk for eventual partner Sony Pictures.
If JD Harmeyer is to be believed, Seth has yet another monster hit on his hands. The Stern Show staffer saw "Sausage Party" last week and gave his review of the film during Seth's appearance Monday morning.
"It's probably one of the best moments in film I've seen," JD said of the food orgy scene, praising the rest of the movie as well. Seth agreed with JD, saying that he considers that orgy scene to be "the funniest scene ever in any of our movies" and revealed that audiences are already shocked at what they're seeing.
"I had several people come up to me after the screening we had the other night and say, like, 'That's not the theatrical version, is it?' and I was like, 'No, that's the theatrical version!'" Seth told Howard.
See "Sausage Party" and its infamous orgy scene in theaters on Friday, August 12.