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Pineapple Express is a 2008 American stoner action-comedy film directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco. The plot centers on a process server and his marijuana dealer as they are forced to flee from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after witnessing them commit a murder. Producer Judd Apatow, who previously worked with Rogen and Goldberg on Knocked Up and Superbad, assisted in developing the story.
Columbia Pictures released the film on August 6, 2008, and it grossed $102 million worldwide on a $26 million budget. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has since developed a cult following. Franco was nominate for a Golden Globe Award for his performance.
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The inspiration for making , according to producer Judd Apatow, was Brad Pitt’s character in True Romance, a stoner named Floyd. Apatow “thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chase by bad guys”.According to Rogen, the ideal production budget was $40 million, but due to the subject matter—”because it’s a weed movie”, as he described it—Sony Pictures allotted $25 million.The film inspired the name for a real cannabis strain called Pineapple Express.
David Gordon Green met with Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg on the set of Knocked Up and later on the set of Superbad to discuss the project.Green cited The Blues Brothers, Midnight Run, Running Scared, The Gravy Train and Stir Crazy as sources of inspiration and influence on directing the film.One particular aspect of the film that has been almost universally praised is the cinematography; Rogen even joked on the commentary that “even people who hate the movie admit that it’s shot well”.
Rogen was originally going to play Saul, but Apatow suggested that Franco should play the role instead. After a table read, Rogen agreed, thus casting himself in the role of Dale Denton.