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On the heels of the news that Martin Starr will not be appearing in Judd Apatow’s This Is Forty, the spin-off of his 2007 comedy hit Knocked Up, comes word that Seth Rogen will also not be among the cast. In a recent interview with Movies.com, Rogen confessed that he will not be reprising his role as the clueless, but fertile, Ben in This Is Forty, which will focus entirely on the characters played by Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd in the first film. Rogen states that he understands the decision to cut his character out of the sequel and thinks the film will be hilarious based on a recent visit he made to the set.

So for everyone keeping score at home, that’s Jason Segel in, Martin Starr and Seth Rogen out. I can completely understand wanting to focus on just the Mann/Rudd couple from the first film, who didn’t have much connection with Ben and his friends, but why then leave Jason Segel in the mix? I mean sure, he was obviously enamored of Leslie Mann’s character in the first film, so I suppose there is more comedy to be mined from that. And don’t get me wrong, I love Jason Segel, but it seems odd to remove all but one of the bro crew considering how close they all were. How are they going to explain that? Is everyone else out of town getting their new doomed online venture off the ground?

There have been murmurings of doubt toward this spin-off, but I definitely think Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd can easily carry this film. They’ve had more than enough opportunities to prove themselves as comedians in other projects and, even if those projects weren’t great, these two are consistently solid. Not to mention the fact that the dysfunctional relationship between Rudd and Mann was one of the best parts of Knocked Up. They were simultaneously Ben and Alison’s relationship ideal and their biggest nightmare. Frankly, as pervasive as Rogen’s presence has become to multiplexes anymore, I’m going to be relieved to get a break from him. It’s not that I find him obnoxious, I actually think he’s very talented, but there is something to be said for avoiding becoming cinematically ubiquitous.