What's good enough for Hermione apparently isn't good enough for Harry Potter, as Emma Watson is actually filling in for a role intended for Daniel Radcliffe in the all-star apocalypse comedy, "This Is the End."
Radcliffe was actually the first actor that co-writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg approached to star in the film, though the former "Potter" headliner turned it down.
"Two years before we brought it to anybody else, we brought it to Daniel Radcliffe and he rejected it because it was sh---y, it wasn’t good enough," said Goldberg in a recent interview with BuzzFeed. "We got too excited, we jumped the gun on that. If we waited another year, I bet he would have done it."
True to his nice-guy image, Radcliffe was cool about saying no to the project (it actually wasn't quite as harsh an exchange as to involve the Banishing Spell he learned at Hogwarts).
"[He] very respectfully explained that the material was not quite good enough, and he was right," said Goldberg. "It was a bad early version. He taught us a lesson. We learned something from him that day."
"This Is the End" is based on the 2007 short film written by Rogen & Goldberg called "Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse" ("Jay" referring to frequent colleague Jay Baruchel). However, expanding the premise of the short — which involved Baruchel and Rogen stuck in a room together as the world comes to an end — to a feature-length scenario was a more difficult task than anticipated.
"The initial version was too obvious," said Goldberg. "Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter jokes and James Franco [as a] fashion-snobby materialistic guy. Jonah Hill was being mean to everybody. And so we changed it all. We made Franco have this endearing love for Seth and we made Jonah turn into this big softy and we just mixed things up."
Radcliffe was replaced by his fellow "Potter" alum Emma Watson, who's been re-imagined as a crazed ax-wielding survivalist. And yes, there's at least one Hermione joke in there.
"This Is the End" features Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Franco, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride playing funhouse-mirror versions of themselves as they take refuge in Franco's house during something that starts to seem rather "Apocalyp-tish" — when a malevolent supernatural force lays waste to the outside world.
The film features a slew of celebrity cameos in the first act, including Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Dave Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, and — perhaps most memorably — Michael Cera in full-on coke-snorting sexual-sociopath mode.
Radcliffe wasn't the only celeb who declined the invitation to the party, though other RSVPs in the negative were due to scheduling conflicts rather than script issues, including Rogen's "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" co-star Elizabeth Banks, "Superbad" cop Bill Hader, and even Edward Norton, who recently made an out-of-nowhere cameo appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator."
Hey, there's always the sequel ... which is probably inevitable, even for a film with a title so seemingly final.
Watch One of Emma Watson's Key Scenes in 'This is the End':