HBO Max has released the first trailer for An American Pickle. It an adaptation of the 2013 New Yorker series Sell Out by Simon Rich. It stars Seth Rogen in dual roles, with one as the titular man who immigrates to American and is then pickled and brined for 100 years. He soon finds himself in present-day Brooklyn and seeks out his family. But he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, “Ben Greenbaum” (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.
Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of Rogen playing a man who gets pickled for 100 years. It sounded so absurd. And yet, looking at the trailer, it seems like there is more nuance to it than a man who is living out of time. There are hints of real emotional depth and some real heart. Sure, being pickled for 100 years sounds silly, but it looks like Herschel will instill some valuable life lessons upon his disappointing great-grandson.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for An American Pickle:
“The film, starring Seth Rogen in dual leading roles, is an adaptation of the 2013 New Yorker series Sell Out by Simon Rich who also adapts, and is directed by Brandon Trost, the cinematographer from Rogen’s previous films (This is the End, Neighbors, The Interview). Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver are producers for Point Grey. Executive producers are Rich, Point Grey’s Alex McAtee and Ted Gidlow.
The film stars Rogen as “Herschel Greenbaum,” a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present-day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, “Ben Greenbaum” (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.”
Sarah Snook and Jorma Taccone also star.
An American Pickle is directed by Brandon Trost and based on the 2013 short story “Sell Out” by Simon Rich, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. It will premiere exclusively on HBO Max on August 6, 2020.