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Judd Apatow Has A This Is 40 Sequel Idea But One Thing Is Holding Him Back

It's hard to believe, but more than a decade has passed since Judd Apatow released "This is 40." Starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, the comedy was a pseudo-sequel to Apatow's smash hit "Knocked Up," following Rudd's and Mann's married couple Pete and Debbie as they struggle to keep their lives and relationship together while staring down middle age. The film didn't quite enjoy the same critical or commercial success as its predecessor upon release, but it has become a low-key staple in Apatow's comedic oeuvre in the years since.

It also remains one of the few films in the filmmaker's back catalog that's tailor-made for the sequel treatment, and it's been rumored for a while now that Apatow might be working on a follow-up, fittingly titled "This is 50." During a recent interview with The Playlist, the writer-director confirmed he's still actively kicking around concepts for the sequel. "I have an idea for something. I have an idea for that ['This is 50']," he told the publication. "[I]t's something I've been outlining on the side that I would love to do."

Apparently, one of the things holding the project up is the availability of his real-life family members, including his wife, Mann, and their two daughters, Iris and Maude Apatow, who all played key roles in "This is 40." "Right now, it's all about, 'Is my family available?'" Apatow said with a laugh before admitting that their professional schedules can make it difficult for even him to book their talent.

Apatow remains pretty busy himself these days

As The Playlist piece notes, the recently ended WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have complicated schedules even further. But perhaps more problematic than the increasingly busy professional schedules of Judd Apatow's family is his own booming career, as the writer, director, and producer continues to rank among the most in-demand comedic filmmakers in the business. In the last five years alone, Apatow has produced dozens of projects and directed four of his own, including a pair of documentaries as well as the feature films "The King of Staten Island" and "The Bubble.

As Apatow himself admitted to The Playlist, he may have a few projects ready to roll before he gets around to "This is 50" anyway. Though he didn't offer specifics on any of them, the filmmaker — who spoke to the publication before the end of the strikes — claimed he's raring to go on at least one, noting, "I wrote a film; I'm just waiting for all these strikes to end to see if they'll allow me to make it."

With both strikes now officially in the rearview mirror, Apatow may be looking to fast-track that project — assuming, of course, a studio is ready to back it. But even if said project does go straight into development, he'll likely be busy working on it for the better part of the next year or two. That means it'll be at least that long before he can truly contemplate a sequel to "This is 40." At this rate, the gang may be closer to 60 by the time Apatow gets around to making the sequel, especially when you account for the perpetually stacked schedule of current MCU all-star Paul Rudd.