Seth Rogen Says Marvel Movies Are Making It Harder For Comedy Films

by : Cameron Frew on : 13 Aug 2020 11:30
PA Images/Marvel

Once upon a time, comedies dominated the box office. Now, as Seth Rogen says, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is king of the world.

The 38-year-old is one of the biggest stars of the past 20 years, amassing fans through Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, This is the End and of late, An American Pickle.


He’s no stranger to the superhero genre either, having starred in The Green Hornet and serving as executive producer on Amazon Prime’s The Boys. However, he’s very aware that the MCU’s laughs do little to help low-key releases.

Seth RogenPA Images

While promoting the release of HBO Max’s An American Pickle, Rogen spoke to GamesRadar about the challenges of bringing a comedy to the big screen in the current comicbook-fixed climate.

He explained: 


Something that me and [producing partner] Evan [Goldberg] talk about a lot is how Marvel movies are comedies. Thor: Ragnarok is a comedy. Ant-Man is a comedy at its core. So that’s what’s out there. There are $200 million comedies out there, and so that’s something, as a comedic filmmaker, to be aware of.

That is the benchmark that people expect! If you’re going to make a big huge comedy, just know that your competition is like Marvel.

Seth Rogen An American PickleWarner Bros.

While often told that ‘mid-size comedies are dying’, Rogen was keen to note that the genre isn’t necessarily in danger, with the likes of Sausage Party, Blockers and Bad Neighbours still doing ‘really, really well’.

Nor is he suggesting ‘you should not make those types of films, but know that’s what audiences are seeing… they are playing like comedies. They are legitimately funny and star comedy stars’.

Thor RagnarokMarvel Studios

Rogen continued: 

Audiences still love comedy, and they want that – Deadpool – but the scope of them is huge. So when you’re not offering them that scope, you have to think: ‘What am I offering them?’

That’s why something like Good Boys does well, because we’re not offering scope. What we’re offering is pure comedy and emotion and relatability and nostalgia. That’s the trade-off. You don’t get to see the God of Thunder being hilarious, but you get to see something that maybe represents your actual life, and that’s very gratifying in another way.

One such comedy people can see now is An American Pickle, currently screening in UK cinemas and streaming on HBO Max in the US. In our review, we called it an ‘immensely likeable’ Rogen showcase, worth the price of admission for the actor’s talents alone.


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, comedy, Film, Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU, Now, Seth Rogen, Superheroes


  1. GamesRadar

    Seth Rogen interview: "If you're going to make a huge comedy, your competition is Marvel"