Where does Judd Apatow go from here? Up until now he's mined his own life for inspiration when it comes to the movies he writes and directs, with his last two films -- Funny People and This Is 40 -- acting as direct extensions of his past and current experiences. He turned criticisms that his movies were too dude-driven into projects like Bridesmaids and HBO's Girls (both of which he produced), and now that he's conquered the big (and small) screen, the only new place left for him to go is the stage.
So, yes, Judd Apatow is now writing a Broadway play. And it's not just any Broadway play, because according to him it may just be the best idea he's ever had. At least that's what he told GQ in a recent interview, where he revealed the project. "I miss doing something where I’m interacting more with the audience," he says. "I like the idea of writing something and rewriting it every night based on how it’s playing. I have a great idea. Maybe like the best idea I’ve ever had. It requires me to create characters and situations that have absolutely nothing to do with my experience.”
Seeing Apatow stray outside his comfort zone is exciting for those of us who really enjoy his voice and his work. As far as what the play will be about, Apatow says it'll follow "victims of the criminal-justice system and the challenges they face." Doesn't sound like the funniest or most Apatow-ish of projects, and he doesn't give any hints as to its tone, adding, "I am excited to write something which has a social conscience. That is not something I have attempted before, and I hope I am up for the challenge.”
One thing Apatow is great at is creating quirky, relatable characters you want to invest in, and so it should be interesting to see how his voice transitions to the stage, which tends to be more personal and intimate than a movie theater. It's no Freaks and Geeks on Broadway, but that doesn't mean we won't be first in line for tickets when the time comes (because we will).
In the meantime, This Is 40 hits theaters this weekend. Get your Apatow fill now since it may be a while before he returns to the big screen as a writer and director.
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