Why Morgan Freeman turned down This is the End

Legend was offered role as ‘god’ for Seth Rogen comedy, but he declined.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg recruited a pretty impressive cast list for meta-comedy ‘This is the End’, from funnymen Michael Cera, Jay Baruchel and Jason Segel, to ‘Harry Potter’ star Emma Watson and pop singer Rihanna.

[This is the End stars on Emma Watson appearance]


Not everyone said ‘yes’ to the duo though. We already knew that Daniel Radcliffe turned them down, but at our fan Q&A the duo also revealed that they wrote a part for Morgan Freeman, only to be rebuffed.

Rogen, who co-directed and starred in the film, said: “Morgan Freeman said ‘no’. We wanted him to play God. Apparently he takes his character as God very seriously.”

Co-helmer Goldberg described Freeman’s appearance. “The joke was, he would appear as god, and Jay (Buruchel) would say: ‘so when we were in ‘Million Dollar Baby’, you were god?!’ and then god shows up and says ‘it’s just a joke him and Morgan Freeman have been playing on people. He should have said yes!”

Rogen added: “I think it’s the biggest mistake Morgan Freeman ever made!”

Holy man... Morgan Freeman as God in 'Bruce Almighty' (Credit: Rex Features)

On the other hand, they also said it remarkably easy to persuade megastar Channing Tatum to play Danny McBride’s sex slave.

“The messed up thing was that there was no convincing”, said Goldberg.

“It was really easy,” added Rogen. “I just explained exactly what it was and I got an email back five minutes later saying ‘I’m in! Where do you need me to be?’. For two nights we shot that, he was on his hands and knees scurrying around, like a little dog… He said he actually felt like he had been a sex slave.” 

“All he asked for was very strong pads for his knees,” said Goldberg.

Based on the 2007 short film written by Rogen & Goldberg called "Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse" ("Jay" being Jay Baruchel), ‘This is the End’ sees Rogen, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride play versions of themselves take refuge in James Franco's house during an apocalypse.

‘This is the End’ is released in the UK on 28 June. Watch the trailer below.