Posted on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
We are in a golden age of comedy and Judd Apatow deserves a wealth of plaudits for his part in it. Not only are the films he has directed himself definitely at the peak, he’s also behind – to some extent – much of the second and third tiers too. I might not agree with every director (Seth Gordon Green) or star (Rob Schneider) to be given bunk on one of these films, but the overall effect is very agreeable. This overall effect, not to put too fine a point on it, is more genuinely funny, smart and worthwhile American comedies in the cinemas than for a very, very long time.
I fancifully imagine the “Judd Apatow, Comedy Godfather” scenario as something like Billy Wilder being given the money and responsibility by a studio to go out and hire the people he thinks funny, kick start their projects and encourage and consult where necessary. In my imagination they then all stand around like the end credits of a Police Squad while we rush out and see their movies.
But it may be more than comedy that Apatow is tending in Hollywood’s garden. Bill Hader has revealed that Apatow encouraged him to write, along with his Saturday Night Live writing room colleague Simon Rich, the screenplay for a slasher film.
Sounding not unlike two copies of The Player playing at once, Hader described the script as “partially Straw Dogs meets Halloween meets Home Alone meets Monster Squad“.
What about the other part? The answer will… er… partly lie in his further comments, “It is definitely about guys nowadays, that idea that you watch fucked up shit on TV, how violence in our culture – this sounds really hoity toity – you watch fucked up reality shows, I love true crime shows. The idea of that thing coming to your house, and what do you do? I would shit my pants. That’s basically what the movie is about.”
Some thematic crossover with Shaun of the Dead, maybe – but these notions hardly come from an empty tank. This concept still has a lot of mileage in it.
I like Hader a lot, trust Apatow’s instincts, and find the concept irresistible. All I want to know now is who they’d peg to direct. Any ideas?
Lest we forget, Hader is also developing another comedy-thriller hybrid, this one with his Superbad and Adventureland director Greg Mottola. That one is about a vigilante doorman on a mission to right some wrongs and out a scammer in the building he looks after.