Directed by his frequent collaborator Brandon Trost, Rogen plays Herschel Greenbaum, a Polish ditch digger who immigrates to the U.S. in 1920 to fulfill his American dream. Herschel finds work at a pickle factory, only to fall into a vat of brine, putting him into suspended animation.
A century later, Herschel emerges from the brine in 2020, fully preserved. Although all of his immediate family members have died, Herschel is able to locate his great-grandson, Ben — who is also played by Rogen.
The two struggle to relate to each other in terms of family values, music and culture, with Herschel even pointing to a poster of David Bowie on Ben’s wall and asking, “Is this your father?” Still, Ben helps Herschel adapt to the 21st century, and Herschel guides Ben through the immense grief caused by his parents’ untimely deaths years ago.
The cast includes Sarah Snook, Sean Whalen, Jorma Taccone, Joanna Adler, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Geoffrey Cantor, David Mattey, Charles Rogers and Kevin O’Rourke.
The premise is based on Simon Rich’s short story, “Sell Out,” which was published in The New Yorker in 2013. Rich also wrote the film’s screenplay, while Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver served as producers. Trost and Rogen have previously worked together on “This Is The End,” “Neighbors,” “The Interview” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”
“An American Pickle” marks the first original feature film released by HBO Max, which launched on May 27.
Watch the full trailer below.