Apatow Parts With Agents

It seemed like Judd Apatow was the undisputed King of the comedy box office. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Pineapple Express and This Is 40 were all his movies. As a producer his credits included Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, and Bridesmaids.

He could literally do no wrong.


Now, according to a report from Puck News (via Dark Horizons), it seems the wheels have come off.

Proving the old adage that you are only as good as your last game, The King of Staten Island, The Bubble, Bros and Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain all failed to have the impact they were expected to have.

An R-rated script that Apatow planned would star Zach Galifianakis as a comic actor who is canceled. The pitches to studios didn’t go down well and nobody picked it up. An R-rated Apatow/Lucas Brothers comedy project starring Kat Williams with Nicholas Stoller directing was also not picked up.

An untitled series with Ben Stiller attached to star, Mike Judge (The White Lotus) directing, and Brent Forrester (The Office) writing seems like an absolute home run, yes? Well… no. Again, not picked up.

As a result, apparently, Apatow has ended his thirty-year relationship with his agency UTA because they don’t seem to be able to help him get anything greenlit.

So what the heck has happened? Comedy isn’t hugely expensive. Get the right project and it can be massively profitable. So what is going on here? This is just a personal bit of speculation, but there may be something else at play.

Apatow has also received several high-profile awards for his advocacy and support of women in Hollywood, as well as victims of sexual assault. In 2015, he was honored by the Rape Treatment Foundation, who later released a statement on Apatow’s contributions, describing him as:

“…a powerful voice for the truths about rape and an advocate for respectful treatment of victims”.

Apatow has positioned himself at the forefront of the #MeToo and #TimesUp online movements, encouraging alleged victims to come forward while also criticizing people accused. Apatow had strong words for people like Bill Cosby and those who gave Cosby a platform to continue to perform and speak.

In 2017, Apatow was awarded the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, for being an outspoken and tireless advocate on behalf of women in the arts.

I think what might have happened here is that Apatow has pissed off the wrong people in that sleazy, hypocritical, and deviant-infested town we call Hollywood.

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