Toward's the tail end of 2010 we were greeted with the surprising news that Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann would reprise their Knocked Up roles for a spin-off feature-length film, directed again by Judd Apatow. Rudd and Mann (who is the real-life spouse of Apatow, fact fans) were definitely the highlights of the 2007 hit comedy, and Apatow seems to recognise this. When asked by Screen Junkies of his next cinematic venture, he had this to say;
People were really taken by those characters. I think people really emotionally connected to the challenges of their marriage and I thought, you know, they were only a small portion of the movie. Im a television writer so I always want another episode. I always want another 80 episodes. Thats why after 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' we said, 'What else can we do with this character Russell Brand has created here?' I felt that way about Pete and Debbie from 'Knocked Up.'
Although Brand's return to his role as Aldous Snow in Get Him to the Greek surprised everyone by being a lot better than it really should have been, the strength of the Snow character was enough to justify another big screen venture - will Pete and Debbie also be able to go this alone, without the aid of Seth Rogen's Ben and Katherine Heigl's Alison? Apatow seemed willing to integrate Knocked Up's cast into the as-yet-untitled spin-off, saying that he's "trying to figure out" how it could work and that "a lot of it just depends on peoples availabilities and the story Im trying to tell". One factor worth considering is that Heigl's current relationship with Apatow is notably frosty, with Heigl stating that she found it hard to love Knocked Up as it "paints the women as shrews". This sparked a three-way feud between herself, the 43 year-old director and co-star Seth Rogen, who said of Heigl's claws-out remarks that "its not like were the only people she said some bat **** crazy things about, thats kind of her bag now", referring to her spat with the staff of TV show Grey's Anatomy. Will this rule out the possibility of Heigl returning for the spin-off? "Uh, I don't know. It's too early to know" was Apatow's less-than-enthused response, stating that he's "not writing it to be a story about Seth and Katherines characters. Its really about where Pete and Debbie are five years later." I have high hopes for this one which is already set for a US release of June 1st, 2012.