By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 1, 2013 at 2:18PM
"This Is 40" might have been overshadowed by its Christmas competition somewhat, and picked up reviews as similarly mixed as its predecessor "Funny People," but having made a healthy $66 million in the U.S. so far before opening in most of the rest of the world, it's certainly signified that Judd Apatow ain't licked yet. The film was the director's first semi-sequel, picking up on some of the characters from "Knocked Up" five years down the line, and while we're sure his next directorial effort will see him do something else, it seems like he's not quite done with the characters yet.
HeyUGuys uncovered an interview with Apatow from Getty, in promotion of the film's U.K. release on February 14th, and Apatow indicates that he's thinking about a further film using some of the same characters, inspired by none other than François Truffaut's Antoine Doinel films, which began with "The 400 Blows." Apatow told Getty, "I like the series Truffaut made where he revisited the same character five different times in five different movies. I think it's fun to see people grow up."
But don't necessarily expect it to focus on Apatow surrogate Pete and his screen wife Debbie, played by Paul Rudd and the director's real-life spouse Leslie Mann. "I'm interested in it with Leslie and Paul's characters," he continued, "but I'm even more interested in Maude and Iris." Maude and Iris are, of course, Apatow and Mann's daughters, who've featured in "Knocked Up," "Funny People" and "This Is 40," playing the same characters in the third as they did in the first.
Apatow also indicated where the future film might head, saying: "When we first met Maude’s character, Sadie, she was 8-years-old, she didn’t understand where babies come from and know we see her five years later and she’s just cursing and screaming and having teenager problems so I’m thinking that maybe in the next one she’s in college."
Now, it's clearly early days, and with Maude being 13, there's likely to be at least another 5-year gap before Apatow gets around to this. The question is: how serious is he being? After his great series "Undeclared," we'd certainly love the idea of Apatow returning to the college movie, but one thing that's marked his films so far is that their subject matter can be somewhat... frank when it comes to sex, drugs and whatnot. And would you really want to direct your own daughter in a Judd Apatow college movie?
Still, we suppose that bridge'll be crossed when he comes to it. There's no doubt that Maude and Iris have inherited their parents' funny bones, but we wouldn't want this to become super awkward for everybody down the road. In the meantime, Apatow is busy producing film and TV, including "Girls," "Can A Song Save Your Life?" and "Anchorman: The Legend Continues," and we're sure word of his next directorial project will start to sneak out before too long. Meanwhile, "This Is 40" heads to home video on March 22nd and as per usual, it will be available in an Unrated Cut (along with the theatrical version). Box art below.