Since the beginning of his career Judd Apatow has worked in the comedy world. While you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with a larger impact on the genre within the past decade, with his fourth film “This Is 40” hitting theaters today the writer-director is looking to work in a different medium: the stage.
In a great GQ profile (via Movieline) Apatow muses about wanting more interaction with the audience, “I like the idea of writing something and rewriting it every night based on how it’s playing,” before teasing the idea of a play he’s writing and how the “Knocked Up” spin-off may be his last intensely personal work.
“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.” The only story morsel Apatow lets slip is that “it’s about victims of the criminal-justice system and the challenges they face.” So, yeah, Apatow definitely wants to stretch his creative muscle. And with the reference to watching “The Wire” while writing his latest film earlier in the profile, is it possible that David Simon’s approach to detailing decaying institutions has inspired Apatow? He tells the magazine “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.”
He isn’t the first filmmaker to attempt to move outside of the comedy genre — Kevin Smith attempted to dip his toe into the horror genre with 2011’s “Red State." We're hoping Apatow finds great success and excited that he’s seeking to challenge himself. In the meantime, be sure to catch “This is 40” this weekend.