Judd Apatow’s Writing a Movie About Iraq War Soldiers
Trainwreck marks something of a departure for Judd Apatow. His four previous films as a director — The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40 — were all based on screenplays Apatow either wrote or co-wrote. Trainwreck, on the other hand, comes entirely from the mind of star Amy Schumer. According to Apatow’s appearance on the new episode of You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, that’s partly because Apatow feels like he’s covered a lot of the stuff he set out to make when he came to Hollywood. “I do feel,” he told Holmes, “like I’ve made a pretty good high school show [Freaks and Geeks] and a college show [Undeclared] and a pretty good young adult show [Girls] ... And so I’ve covered most of my bases.”
Searching for what to write about next, Apatow decided to go outside his comfort zone and try something new, telling Holmes that he’s working with author Phil Klay on an adaptation of his book Redeployment, which is about American soldiers who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to readjust to life after war. Here’s a little of the book’s plot description from Amazon:
Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.
Stories in the book include the tale of a man who had to “shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses” and his struggle to readjust to “domestic life in suburbia,” and a chaplain whose faith and beliefs are “tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.” So The 41-Year-Old Virgin this is not. And Apatow concede it’s been a “different experience” for him:
[It’s a comedy with drama or a drama with comedy about those people and what they’ve gone through and hopefully in an entertaining way so it’s not one of these depressing movies you don’t want to see ... But it’s just about: What happens to soldiers who return to a country that isn’t even that aware that we’re at war?”
[H/T The Playlist]