Comedy Impact Report '08: Bigscreen Big Shots

The Judd Apatow phenomenon continues unabated. Four years after the writer-director-producer took Hollywood by storm with “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Apatow is still gold — as are the many projects that have his name on them.

Indeed, any association with Apatow virtually guarantees a greenlight. In 2008 alone, Apatow produced “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “Step Brothers,” “Pineapple Express” and “Walk Hard.” He took writing credits on the latter two films, along with Adam Sandler comedy “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.”

With greater volume, Apatow’s batting average han’t been perfect, but with hits like “Step Brothers” (which grossed $100 million domestically) and “Pineapple Express” ($87 million), who’s complaining, especially since Apatow consistently keeps his budgets low?

Going forward, Apatow takes his foot off the gas a bit. Having just wrapped “Year One” (which he produced), he’s focused on his next directing outing, “Funny People.”

“I hope people like the movies and don’t get sick of us,” he says. “When I was a kid, Steve Martin could not make enough movies to make me happy.”

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