That new Judd Apatow project that’s neither a prequel nor a sequel to Knocked Up now has a name — maybe. As you probably recall, Apatow announced some time ago that he was planning a spin-off film centering around Pete and Debbie, the bickering married couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in the 2007 comedy. Read more about the project after the jump.

According to a rumor posted on Coming Soon, the new movie will be titled This is Forty. Shooting will begin this June in Los Angeles, one year ahead of its projected June 1, 2012 release date.

The plot of the film has yet to be revealed. What we do know is that film will pick up with Pete and Debbie about five years after the events of Knocked Up, and that Megan Fox is somehow involved. Although her role remains unclear, I’m with Germain on his theory:

If I was a betting man, I’d imagine Fox would be playing some kind of temptress because, for a man to even THINK about cheating on a woman as awesome as Leslie Mann’s Debbie (she likes Spider-Man, after all) the girl had better be as attractive as Megan Fox.

And if the This is Forty title is correct, it’s probably fair to assume the story has to do with the characters dealing with the fact that they’re entering their middle years, perhaps suffering from the beginnings of a mid-life crisis — which could also fit with Germain’s guess about Fox’s part.

Apatow’s decision to do a spin-off was apparently inspired by the audience’s strong reaction to Pete and Debbie after the first movie:

People were really taken by those characters. I think people really emotionally connected to the challenges of their marriage and I thought, you know, they were only a small portion of the movie. I’m a television writer so I always want another episode. I always want another 80 episodes. That’s why after Forgetting Sarah Marshall, we said, ‘What else can we do with this character Russell Brand has created here?’ I felt that way about Pete and Debbie from Knocked Up.

As much as I loved Pete in Knocked Up — really, I love Rudd in just about anything — it’s really Debbie I’m looking forward to revisiting. The original film portrayed her as uptight and prone to nagging, and though she did get a couple of good scenes that saved her from total “unrepentant shrew” status, I felt that the audience was meant to sympathize more strongly with Pete. It’d be interesting to see more of her perspective in This is Forty (or whatever it ends up being called).

Discuss: But seriously, can you believe Paul Rudd is old enough to be in a movie called This is Forty? (He’s 42 in real life.) He really doesn’t look that much older than he did in his Clueless days, does he? Perhaps he’s been drinking from the same fountain of youth than Will Smith has apparently been swimming in.

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