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Seth Rogen to Direct, Star in 'The Interview' for Columbia Pictures (Exclusive)

Seth Rogen to Direct, Star in 'The Interview' for Columbia Pictures (Exclusive)Seth Rogen to Direct, Star in 'The Interview' for Columbia Pictures (Exclusive)

Seth Rogen has signed on to direct, produce and star in The Interview for Columbia Pictures.

The comedy finds Rogen potentially reteaming with his frequent co-star James Franco, who is being eyed for a lead role. The pair starred in Columbia's Pineapple Express and the upcoming This Is the End, which Rogen directed with his longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg. Talks with Franco have yet to commence.

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Columbia is eager to get Rogen and Goldberg back into the director's chair after they delivered the apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, for which the studio has high hopes. The film opens June 14.

Goldberg, who wrote the screenplay with Rogen, is also onboard to direct and produce. The Interview is based on a story written by Goldberg, Rogen and Dan Sterling (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Sarah Silverman Show).

A topical comedy, the story revolves around a handsome talk show host (potentially Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who find themselves in way over their heads when they get involved in a plot to assassinate the  prime minister of North Korea. The rogue nation has been the butt of many jokes lately thanks to a recent visit by retired NBA player Dennis Rodman.

The studio is looking to make the film for about $30 million, according to sources.

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James Weaver is also onboard to produce.

Columbia's Andrea Giannetti and Hannah Minghella are overseeing the project for the studio.

Rogen will next shoot the comedy Townies for Universal Pictures. This Is the End is being produced by Rogen and Goldberg's Point Grey Pictures.   

Rogen, Goldberg and Sterling are repped by UTA.

Franco is handled by CAA.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27