Judd Apatow Says Hasn’t Given Up On ‘This Is 50,’ But Has A Different New Movie Written & Ready To Go

Next week, on November 17, the comedy “Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain” hits the NBC’s streaming service Peacock. It’s a wild, absurdist comedy produced by Judd Apatow for its stars and creators, “Saturday Night Live” Digital Shorts comedians Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, and Ben Marshall. We’ll be getting to that interview soon, focusing on Apatow’s mentoring and how he’s spent much of his career—when not writing and directing his feature films— mentoring and producing films for comedians who were or are on the rise at the time (see Amy Schumer in “Train Wreck,” “The Big Sick” for Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani,Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” for The Lonely Island comedians and dozens of other examples). Something that he continues to this day.

During the interview, we also asked what’s next for Apatow as he’s always got irons in the fire, if not producing a comedy for a deserving comedian (“Brosfor Billy Eichner being another recent example), directing a documentary (“The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling,” and “George Carlin’s American Dream” being his last two), or directing a feature-length comedy (2022’s “The Bubble” was his last).

While Apatow wouldn’t say what the project was, he did admit he has a film all written and all ready to go, but he just needs the strikes to end.

“I wrote a film; I’m just waiting for all these strikes to end to see if they’ll allow me to make it,” he said. “So, my life is in [national president of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists] Fran Drescher’s hands. As it’s always been,” he quipped.

READ MORE: Judd Apatow Says He’s Co-Writing A Post-Iraq War Comedy About Soldiers, Sacrifice & Service

Apatow wouldn’t divulge details, but we know at least what the projects aren’t. And one of them is not “This Is 50,” the sequel to “This is 40” starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, a project he hasn’t given up on and still ideates on.

“I have an idea for something [‘This is 50’]… I have an idea for that, so it’s something I’ve been outlining on the side that I would love to do, but right now, it’s all about, ‘is my family available?’” he joked, alluding to the success of his two daughters Iris and Maude Apatow who are also both actors and often booked, the latter a big part of HBO’sEuphoria.” “Their schedules are getting tight.”

If you’re also doing guesswork like we are, you can scratch off the project about sacrifice and military service that Apatow co-wrote a few years back circa “Train Wreck” with Amy Schumer. The filmmaker explained he incorporated many of those ideas into “The King of Staten Island,” starring Pete Davidson.

“Yeah, I wrote a script with a friend about soldiers returning from Afghanistan, and I really loved it, but it didn’t move forward, and that idea was in my mind for a long time,” he explained. “I tried to write something about sacrifice because I think most people don’t realize what others do for them. So when I was working with Pete Davidson, I realized, oh, that’s what this movie is, it’s about sacrifices people make for others, and the holes that may leave in people’s lives and how people try and recover. So I felt really lucky to work with Pete and have been so open and honest about his life to do something that I think was really funny, but also emotional and took a lot of courage for him to do.”

That untitled project was a screenplay he wrote with author Phil Klay, who wrote the book “Redeployment,” about the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the soldiers who return, though it didn’t sound like a straight-up adaptation.

“I’m writing a screenplay… about soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, their time there, and what happens when they come home,” Apatow said at the time in the summer of 2015, but it looks like that screenplay’s time has come and gone.

So file “This is 50” under TBD, scratch off the Untitled Soldiers & Sacrifice project, and hope the strike ends soon so everyone can get back to work and Apatow can announce his new project (or sell it to a studio). And look for more from this interview soon.