Judd Apatow's Next: Funny People - Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman On Board Too
by Kevin Powers
June 12, 2008
We recently brought you some early information about Judd Apatow's next project, which is about stand-up comics and surprisingly aims to be "a hilarious drama," with one of the comedians having a near-death experience. Apatow regulars Leslie Mann and Seth Rogen have been on the docket for a while now, along with off-screen pal Adam Sandler in the starring role. However, as of today, the primary cast has grown to a total of six, with the addition of Jonah Hill (expected), Jason Schwartzman (kick ass!) and Eric Bana (huh?). Appropriately, the film is simply titled - Funny People.
I'm sure it's a surprise to many (and me), but Bana actually has roots in stand-up comedy in his native Australia. Personally, I can't remember when I saw the guy smile last, much less tell a joke, so this will definitely prove interesting. I suppose Apatow's gravity is so strong that it can pull in traditionally non-comedy actors, such as James Franco in the upcoming Pineapple Express. Being an Apatow project, however, I'm sure he'll bring out the best in Bana.
Equally noteworthy is Schwartzman's involvement. This is one guy whose razor-sharp, off-beat whit never tires. Setting him in an Apatow production alongside Rogen, Hill and Mann should prove absolutely brilliant. I wonder if Jason Segel or Paul Rudd will be the next to sign up? Or does Apatow already have some sort of cameo for them already lined up?
And I know Sandler and Apatow are buddies, but his involvement gives me pause. To me, it seems like Sandler represents a type of comedy that Apatow, for lack of a better word, matured past. 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, for instance, are smarter and more calculated than any of Sandler's recent vehicles. Zohan, for which I was very generous in my review, was a good laugh, written in part by Apatow, but 100% standard Sandler fare. Nevertheless, Funny People is shaping up to be a dream-team of a movie with an impressive cast. I could almost care less about the movie and would rather just see the behind-the-scenes shenanigans as they try to film this - talk about herding cats.
With Hill, Schwartzman, and Bana now on board, has this project popped up on your radar?