×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judd Apatow

King of comedy not giving up title anytime soon

If Apatow stepped into the role of Hollywood’s king of comedy with “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” he’s now firmly entrenched in the part and doesn’t look to be giving up the crown anytime soon.

“Knocked Up,” his directorial follow-up to “Virgin,” was one of summer’s biggest moneymakers, grossing $148 million domestically and again proving Apatow’s Hollywood-antithetical philosophy that geeks and schlumps are indeed blockbuster bait.

Apatow most happily operates in overdrive as this year, and next, attest.

In addition to “Knocked Up,” he produced another triumph of geekdom, “Superbad,” with proteges Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and producer Shauna Robertson.

He also co-wrote with Jake Kasdan the John C. Reilly spoof “Walk Hard,” due out in December, as well as another Rogen collaboration, “Pineapple Express,” out next summer.

Of the current Apatow Express, the multihyphenate says: “I had no time to gather my thoughts and get any perspective about it. I was really busy finishing ‘Walk Hard,’ and spent the whole summer traveling around and promoting the movie. I look forward to a long Christmas vacation to try to figure out what the hell happened.”

Apatow adds that part of the deluge is, ironically, due to the fact that it took so long for studios to come around to believing in his offbeat sense of humor.

Just because he couldn’t get anything made for half a decade didn’t mean he wasn’t prolific.

“During that time, (my colleagues and I) kept rewriting all the scripts we liked. As a result of a few movies doing well, it’s allowed us to make some of these other movies.”

Apatow also admits that multitasking is a conscious act.

“My general theory is that I like to be in the middle of a project when a movie is coming out. That way I have my mind on something, and I don’t get too crazy. When ’40-Year-Old Virgin’ came out, I was in North Carolina working on ‘Talladega Nights.’ I was busy getting ready for ‘Superbad’ when ‘Knocked Up’ came out. I like to be one ahead — that way even if the one coming out doesn’t do well, I know there’s another one.”

So far, there’s been no such need for backup security, but Apatow, who describes himself as “crazy” and “neurotic” — which he attributes to “my Jewish instinct” — isn’t taking chances.

He’s also producing “Step Brothers,” written and directed by Adam McKay, and starring Will Ferrell and Reilly; “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” written by Jason Segel and directed by Nicholas Stoller; and “Drillbit Taylor,” written by Rogen and Kristofor Brown, and starring Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann.

Point of view

“It wasn’t my intent to have so many movies come out this year and next year,” Apatow explains of his recent feature flurry. “It was more the result of being unable to get anything made during the last half-decade.”

More Film

  • Too Old to Die Young

    Cannes: 2019 Lineup Includes Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodóvar, Four Films by Women

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup, boosting the number of female filmmakers in official selection to 13 — four of which will compete for the Palme d’Or, the highest number since 2011. Additionally, new movies by Pedro Almodóvar and American directors Terrence Malick and Ira Sachs join Elton John biopic “Rocketman” and the [...]

  • Cannes Unveils 2019 Official Selection (Watch

    Watch Cannes Lineup Announcement (Updating Live)

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is announcing the films chosen for “official selection” — including those competing for the event’s coveted Palme d’Or prize — in a press conference Thursday starting at 11 a.m. in Paris. The livestream of the press conference is available here. (Please note that the broadcast seldom starts on time.) Last [...]

  • Godzilla

    'Godzilla' Owner Toho Poised for Expansion in Hollywood

    Toho, the largest movie group in Japan, is expanding a subsidiary in the U.S. with a view to working more with Hollywood. The company said that its existing Toho International Inc. subsidiary has been injected with $14 million (JPY15.4 billion), through a share issue subscribed to by the parent company. The subsidiary has existed since [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Former professional boxer Bradley Welsh in

    Bradley Welsh, 'T2 Trainspotting' Actor, Shot Dead in Edinburgh

    Bradley Welsh, an actor in “T2 Trainspotting” and a former boxer, died after being shot in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Wednesday. He was 42. The Edinburgh Police Division reported an incident on Chester Street in Edinburgh’s West End neighborhood around 8 p.m. local time. They found Welsh seriously injured in the street and said he died [...]

  • Jim Gallagher Warner Bros

    Jim Gallagher Joins Warner Bros. as EVP of Marketing, Animation and Family

    Former head of DreamWorks Animation theatrical marketing Jim Gallagher has joined Warner Bros. Pictures in a newly created role as executive vice president of marketing, animation and family, announced today by Blair Rich, president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Gallagher will develop innovative and strategic global campaigns for [...]

  • Timothy Olyphant Luke Perry

    Timothy Olyphant Recalls Working With Luke Perry on 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Luke Perry’s last role will be in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and his co-star Timothy Olyphant got a front-row seat to the late actor’s final performance. Perry, who died this March after suffering a massive stroke, had completed all of his scenes in the upcoming film prior to his sudden death. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content