The release of Anchorman in 2004 sent Judd Apatow off on a producing run that eventually made him the undisputed king of big screen comedy. For a few years there it felt like there wasn’t a comedy in theaters that didn’t have his name attached as the producer, and his efforts helped to launch the careers of a staggering amount of comedic actors. Somewhere along the way he got the reputation of being the head of a boys’ club though. Whether the reputation was deserved or not, Apatow became thought of as a filmmaker solely interested in bringing to life the “bromances” of arrested development-suffering male slackers.
Maybe that’s why he’s been making such an effort lately to put together projects that give voice to some of the most talented female comedians out there. Back in 2011 he earned a mountain of success and accolades by helping Kristen Wiig bring her comedy Bridesmaids to the big screen, last year he created a near insufferable amount of buzz helping Tiny Furniture writer/director Lena Dunham develop the show Girls for HBO, and now Deadline is reporting that he’s signed a new deal to help standup comedian and the star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer, bring her unique brand of depraved material to theaters.
Schumer, who was a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and got her big break in the industry with attention-grabbing sets performed during Comedy Central’s roasts of Roseanne Barr and Charlie Sheen, is said to currently be writing the script for an R-rated comedy that will also serve as an Amy Schumer starring vehicle. The project has yet to get a title or a director, but Deadline’s report says that Universal has made a deal to option the script, likely because Apatow has now attached himself as a producer and apparent co-writer. The Apatow name gets things done.
Ever since Bridesmaids came out and was a darling of critics as well as an earner of dollars, pretty much every studio out there has been trying to find the next female-centric comedy that could conceivably tap into the same market that film discovered. So far nothing has succeeded on that same level, but with the combination of Apatow’s experience and Schumer’s reputation for uncomfortably grimy comedy, this one has to be seen as having as good a shot as anything else at being the next breakout hit. Or, at least, it hopefully does. If another comedy starring a woman doesn’t make a bunch of money soon, chances are we’re going to have to sit through another round of think pieces questioning whether or not women can be as funny as men, and—good lord—nobody needs that.