Judd Apatow is no stranger to breaking the rules of comedy, and his latest project is going to be taking that a step further. Funny People stars Adam Sandler as George Simmons, a dying movie star who befriends aspiring comedian (Seth Rogen), and has a reported running time of 2.5 hours, which is far longer than the norm – but this doesn’t look like your average collection of slapstick, either. This seems to be hearkening back to the more emotional work he did with his breakthrough show Freaks and Geeks.
“It’ll probably be a little less than two and half hours,” Apatow says. “The story covers a lot of ground. I’m a fan of movies that are on the longer side. I never sit in a movie I like and think ‘I wish this was over already’. I think people will be very involved with these characters and enjoy the ride. There’s plenty of time to get back home and watch ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and do whatever else you need to do.”
Not only that, but Apatow also says that he’s trying to absolutely load up the DVD with tons of bonus material. “Every time we shot stand-up comedy, we shot their entire act,” says Apatow. “We didn’t shoot it on a stage and add laughs later. We brought in real audiences and shot with six cameras and whatever happened happened. There are 5-10 minutes of stand up in the movie, but we shot everybody’s act seven times so we have all of that material to play with. Every time there’s a clip in the movie of one of George Simmons’ films, we shot several scenes from that movie, so there’s a lot of material.”