Ever wondered what happens to the food in a supermarket when the lights go out? No, obviously not, nobody has ever thought about that. Nobody, that is, except Seth Rogen, who has now released the first image from his upcoming star-studded animation Sausage Party, which follows the exploits of a hot dog sausage named Barry (Michael Cera) and features the voices of Ed Norton, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd, James Franco and more.

He falls from a basket and is lost in the supermarket, so enlists the help of his anthropomorphised pals – two hotdogs voiced by Jonah Hill and Workaholics star Anders Holm, along with a sexy hotdog bun voiced by Kristen Wiig – in a bid to return to his aisle. He’s desperate to be back for the American holiday extravaganza of July 4th (Independence Day), when he’s sure to be bought. Why is this so important to Barry? Doesn’t he know he’s gonna eaten?

Readers, he does not. Barry has been fed a quasi-religious line about life outside the supermarket, and he anticipates some kind of transcendence, believing something close to heaven awaits him beyond the car park. According to his randy hot dog sausage mates, this afterlife is a paradise in which they can pork as many sexy hot dog buns as they can handle.

This is what first released image looks like:

The film is due for release in August and one trailer hit the internet in March:

Another arrived in May:

Speaking on shock jock Howard Stern’s radio show last year, Rogen explained: “We thought it would be funny to do an R-rated [meaning under-17-year-olds must be accompanied to the cinema by a grown-up] Pixar-style movie. It’s fucking filthy! It’s really, really, really dirty, but it looks like a Pixar movie.”

You had us at “fucking filthy”, Seth. He promised Stern bucket-loads of sex and violence; a truly horrifying thought. Imagine a feature-length film of the dude from the Peperami adverts shagging his way through a supermarket. Or, as Rogen put it: “There’s violence, it gets very sexual… There is a food orgy in the movie – one of the most filthy things I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Ever the interrogative interviewer, Stern had one question that, in retrospect, should have been on all our minds: will it just be hot dogs and hot dog buns having sex with each other, or, like, could a cucumber also theoretically have sex with a hot dog bun in this movie? Rogen’s response was thorough: “We even explore inter-food sex in the movie. We explore all of that.” He then laughed that throaty, dirty laugh that Seth Rogen does, and we knew that Sausage Party will be a watershed moment in cinema.

According to Rogen, the movie has been made for “under $30m”, a snip when compared to the likes of Pixar movies Up ($175m) and Brave ($185 million), but it’s still not to be sniffed at. Can we take a moment to appreciate how weird and great it is that some of the biggest movie stars in the world have worked on a passion project as fucking stupid as this? Apparently Rogen began work on the script while feeling creatively unfulfilled on the set of the 2011 action comedy The Green Hornet, which he cowrote.

A third trailer emerged at Comic Con in July, when Rogen said:
“The day after we knew we wanted to make a movie about food, we decided food had to fuck each other. We were like, ‘Someone is going to make an R-rated Pixar movie one day and I’m going to be pissed if we’re not the guys to do it.’”.

Even his pal Sacha Baron Cohen has said Sausage Party is insane: “Sausage Party appalled [Baron Cohen] in some ways. We brought him to a screening where we watched the hand-drawn version of the movie and he could not believe it.: ‘That is the single craziest fucking thing I’ve seen in my whole life’. He said: ‘Just know you’ve gotten successful enough to make the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’”

And that’s from the bloke who had an enormous man sit on his face in Borat. So, as will become clear when a work-on progress is aired at SXSW festival in Texas on March 14, this isn’t going to be Toy Story. Jesus, this film is going to be even more outrageous than the offensively shit Cars 2 , though admittedly for very different reasons.