As Hollywood struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic, some creative minds are getting…creative. Judd Apatow, whose most recent film THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND went straight to streaming, has signed an exclusive deal with Netflix for his next project. And guess what? It is pandemically themed!
The untitled film will be directed by Apatow from a script he co-wrote with Pam Brady. It will follow a group of actors stuck inside a hotel during a pandemic as they try to complete a film. Netflix is very excited about the project and is supposedly fast-tracking it by meeting with actors in the next few weeks.
Sources say this will be an ensemble project with a cast that could be as big as KNIVES OUT. Could Apatow leverage his base of performers ranging from Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and wife Leslie Mann? I would be surprised if he didn’t bring his friends and family together to make this project which could absolutely benefit from the improv skills his movies have used in the past.
Those gathering around the water cooler today will note that Apatow setting up shop at Netflix is a very big deal, especially when you consider this would mark his first time directing a feature that isn’t at Universal. Insiders that are close to the new project are saying that Apatow’s move to Netflix is more about timeliness as opposed to an act of disloyalty. The fact of the matter is that we are living in very trying times right now, and Universal is still in the midst of figuring out how and when to distribute their upcoming slate of films. Be that as it may, time waits for no studio, and Apatow is looking to strike while the iron is hot. It’s also worth noting that Apatow has an existing relationship with Netflix, after teaming for the streamer’s romantic comedy series Love, which Apatow co-created and executive produced. With all of this being what it is, it makes sense for Apatow to shack up with Netflix while Universal continues to weigh their options for flagship releases going forward.