Jewish comedy star Seth Rogen kicked up controversy Sunday when he said a new blockbuster movie reminded him of a fictional Nazi propaganda film.
“American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds,” Rogen tweeted.
“American Sniper” is Clint Eastwood’s new Iraq War drama, which took in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend.
Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, features an assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler while he attends the premiere of a fictitious Nazi propaganda film, Nation’s Pride. The Nazi movie stars a character who boasts about killing hundreds of Allied soldiers from his perch in a clock tower.
American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 18, 2015
On Monday, Rogen defended his comments, tweeting, “I just said something ‘kinda reminded’ me of something else. I actually liked American Sniper. It just reminded me of the Tarantino scene. I wasn’t comparing the two. Big difference between comparing and reminding. Apples remind me of oranges. Can’t compare them, though.
“But if you were having a slow news day, you’re welcome for me giving you the opportunity to blow something completely out of proportion.”
Rogen was in the news recently when the release of his comedy “The Interview” was delayed after hackers threatened terrorist attacks if the movie, which shows the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was shown in American theaters.
American Sniper’s unprecedented success obliterated forecasts and set numerous box-office records. It easily surpassed “Avatar” to become the biggest January weekend ever.
The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards. This was actually the third week of release for “American Sniper,” which played in just a handful of theaters for two weeks. That slow release pattern helped stoke demand for the film, in which Bradley Cooper stars as Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle.
Going into the weekend, optimistic predictions for “American Sniper” were closer to $50 million, which still would have been an enormous success, particularly considering how little appetite audiences have had for movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This was maybe the most underestimated film of all time, considering that it did about twice what estimates predicted,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office firm Rentrak. “This just doesn’t happen.”
AP contributed to this report.