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Judd Apatow’s career has almost always been centered around stand-up comedians. He got his start writing for and producing stand-up comedy specials for Tom Arnold and Jim Carrey, eventually landing writing gigs on the comedian-filled The Ben Stiller Show and The Larry Sanders Show (Hey now!). His latest project is calling back to those origins, as Deadline reports Apatow and Universal Pictures have optioned an untitled screenplay from popular comedian Amy Schumer, who will also play the film's lead role. As someone who loves Schumer’s always-interesting approach to raunchy humor, I’m pretty jizzed, er, jazzed for this project.
Unfortunately, we have no idea what kind of a movie this is going to be beyond an R-rated comedy. Apatow, who will be producing through his Apatow Pictures imprint, is working with Schumer in developing the script’s story. Given Apatow’s penchant for collaborating on high-concept comedy projects that he isn’t directing - including Walk Hard and Pineapple Express - there’s no telling where this story could go. Given he’s already covered the actual process of performing stand-up comedy in 2009’s Funny People, I doubt the film will go back to that well.
If you’ve paid attention to Comedy Central in the last two years, there’s no possible way you won’t recognize Schumer’s face and brand of comedy. She got her break during the 2007 season of Last Comic Standing, and had her own Comedy Central Presents special in 2010. But it was her biting wit in some of the Comedy Central Roasts that really put her in the public consciousness, leading to her first one-hour network special, 2012’s Mostly Sex Stuff, which was absolutely amazing. And of course, she now has her own series, the stand-up/sketch mash-up Inside Amy Schumer, which has already been granted a second season coming next year (having earned the highest ratings of the year for the network). Take a look at one of my favorite bits from that show.
Apatow has made a regular habit of taking on projects featuring strong female characters, especially in the last few years, having produced both Bridesmaids and Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls. I don’t think I’m alone in thanking the high heavens that he’s chosen to work with Schumer rather than that other raunchy Roast performer Whitney Cummings, whose stand-up special and NBC sitcom Whitney combine to generate less laughs than you’d find at a burn ward.
You can watch Schumer’s entire Comedy Central special below. I probably wouldn’t watch it at work, though.