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Judd Apatow is returning to the world of feature filmmaking.
Apatow, who hasn’t directed a studio or narrative feature since 2015’s Amy Schumer hit Trainwreck, is teaming with Pete Davidson for an untitled comedy.
The project is set up at Universal.
Davidson, currently one of the high-profile players on Saturday Night Live who is coming off the Sundance debut of the comedy Big Time Adolescence, wrote the script with Apatow and Dave Sirus and will star in what is being described as a semi-autobiographical story of Davidson growing up in Staten Island, New York.
When he was 7 years old, Davidson lost his father, a firefighter, in the Twin Towers attack of 9/11, an event that traumatically reverberated for years. He first tried stand-up when he was 16 and became known for his stark, truthful nature on sensitive topics. Losing his father figures into his sets.
Sources say the project sees Apatow doing for Davidson what he did for Schumer with Trainwreck, giving a platform for a rising comedian to play a version of themselves on a stage built with material from their own lives.
Barry Mendel, who has worked with Apatow since 2009’s Funny People and together produced the Oscar-nominated comedies The Big Sick and Bridesmaids, is producing once again with the director.
A May or June start is being eyed for the project, which will be overseen for Universal by executive vp production Erik Baiers.
Davidson became one of the youngest comedians to join SNL when he joined the show in 2014 at the age of 20. He makes an appearance in What Men Want, the Paramount comedy set to open Feb. 8, and worked with Apatow in Trainwreck. Davidson is garnering praise for Big Time Adolescence, which premiered Monday at the Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews. The Hollywood Reporter‘s review called his performance in the coming-of-age dramedy “so on target” and “disciplined, showing fine comic timing and yielding the screen when it serves the movie.”
Apatow, who has also helmed such hits as The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, last put out The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, the Emmy-winning documentary about the life of his late mentor. He is repped by UTA, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham.
Davidson is repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and John Sandler. Sirus is repped by ICM Partners.
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