While Judd Apatow found a ton of success as a producer in 2011 with the ensemble comedy Bridesmaids, he hasn't stepped behind the camera as director since the 2009 dramedy Funny People. That changes on December 21st when he returns to screens with This Is 40, which will serve as a sort of spin-off to Knocked Up as it features the same married couple played by Paul Rudd and Apatow's real-life wife, Leslie Mann. This time they're the focus of the film, with an ensemble surrounding the duo that features some members of the original Knocked Up cast (like Apatow's daughters Maude and Iris, as well as Jason Segel and Charlyne Yi), as well as new additions like John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Megan Fox and Melissa McCarthy.
The LA Times has revealed the first image from the film, with a look at what the family looks like a few years after Knocked Up, where the story picks up. So we have Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow, and the film will essentially take a look at the trials and tribulations of a marriage as kids get older and life goes on -- with Apatow's cast primarily improvising their lines, which is pretty much how he rolls. Mann says, "It's about getting older. What the hell happened? Am I making all the right choices? Is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this it? All of those dreams that you had when you were young, all of the possibilities, when you lock into marriage and kids, do the possibilities dwindle or go away?"
Mann says much of the film is based on her and Apatow's own marriage ("the good moments," she jokes), adding a quip about his creative process that's probably a lot like their marriage too. "You have to totally surrender and trust that he will catch you and support you."
Will you be there to support Apatow's latest film when it hits theaters this December?