Universal effectively announced this October that the next Judd Apatow film is scheduled for release on June 1, 2012, before any hint of plot or cast. This cart-before-the-horse unveiling is usually reserved for sequels, rather than a (presumably) R-rated comedy.
It turns out this is no exception. The untitled project is a sequel of sorts, at least in the Apatovian tradition. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd will reprise their roles as the bickering married couple from Knocked Up. More after the jump:
Variety was unable to dig up any plot details, and it’s not clear whether Knocked Up leads Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl or any of the talented supporting cast — including Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel — will make an appearance. Perhaps the best predictor is the Apatow-produced Get Him to the Greek, a spinoff of Russell Brand’s character from the Apatow-produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I believe Sarah Marshall herself, Kristin Bell, made a cameo appearance on a TV segment. Other than that, Greek was light on continuity.
No matter. I’m a card-carrying member of the Paul Rudd Man Crush cult, and I’m a sucker for Mann’s sharp tongue. Before now, I was not independently hoping to revisit the world of Knocked Up. But I trust this will be its own entity. (Read: No Heigl!) I don’t believe this is the motivation behind the quasi-sequel, but much as I liked it, Funny People was perceived as a commercial disappointment with a $72 million worldwide gross. If this is a rebound project, Apatow might as well return to the well of his biggest commercial hit (Knocked Up grossed $219 worldwide).
Both Rudd and Mann have an Apatow-produced project coming up before 2012. Rudd stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in Wanderlust; Mann toplines Business Trip. Independently, Rudd has My Idiot Brother and The Muppets also due in 2011. Mann will next be seen in Little Birds, The Change-Up, and A Single Shot. The untitled Apatow project will shoot this summer.
Last we checked, Apatow had written most of the script. But here’s my retroactive pitch: In an attempt to reconnect with her husband, Mann attempts to join Rudd’s fantasy baseball league… with hilarious and poignant results!