Judd Apatow Is Secretly Responsible For 'Neighbors,' 'Tammy' & More of Your Favorite Movies this Summer

If you're just looking for his name on the marquee, it might seem like it's been awhile since a movie's come out that was made by Judd Apatow. The last film he directed, This is 40, was released in 2012, and the one before, Funny People, came out nearly three years earlier. Sure, he's been busy, producing shows like Girls and movies like Bridesmaids, but comedy fans have definitely felt the lack of Apatow in our lives recently. This summer, though, he's back in a big way; Apatow is behind an impressive eight movies either already in theaters or coming out soon, from Neighbors to 22 Jump Street . Even crazier? Except for one of them, the guy never even had to lift a finger.

How? Because Apatow, as a producer, writer, and director, is responsible for starting the careers of a huge group of today's biggest comedy stars. From Seth Rogen to Jay Baruchel, Apatow has a history of casting tons of talented but unknown actors in his movies who've then gone on to to major success. This summer, nearly all of those protégés have movies out, many of which are expected to be, if they aren't already, box office blockbusters. So, when you're seeing Neighbors for the fifth time or praising the charm of Emma Stone, you'll know who to thank — Apatow. Let's break it down.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Sign of Apatow: Emma Stone.

What'd He Do? Cast her in Superbad, her film debut and breakout role, back in 2007.

How Apatow Is It? Not even remotely similar. Although Apatow started Stone's career, her recent roles (Spider-Man, The Help, Gangster Squad) have been as unlike the producer's films as they get.

Walk of Shame

The Sign of Apatow: Elizabeth Banks.

What'd He Do? Gave her her breakout role in 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

How Apatow Is It? On the page, a lot. Apatow loves making movies about disheveled women trying to get their lives together (see: Bridesmaids, the upcoming Trainwreck ), but Walk of Shame turned out to be a lot less empowering than we'd hoped.


The Sign of Apatow: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a Franco brother.

What'd He Do? Cast them in Freaks and Geeks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad and Bridesmaids.

How Apatow is It? Very. With that cast, a pop culture-referencing script, and an abundance of dirty jokes, the blockbuster Neighbors easily could've been one of the producer's own works.

22 Jump Street

The Sign of Apatow: Jonah Hill, a Franco brother.

What'd He Do? Featured Hill in Knocked Up and Superbad, worked with Dave Franco's sibling, James.

How Apatow is It? Somewhat. The Jump Street movies are bit more mainstream than Apatow's typical works, but the genius pairing of Hill and Channing Tatum is something he very well could've engineered.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Sign of Apatow: Jay Baruchel, as well as cameos from Kristen Wiig and Jonah Hill.

What'd He Do? Gave Baruchel his breakout role in Fox's Undeclared, and later cast him in Knocked Up.

How Apatow is It? Not even close. Except for the cast, this animated fantasy film is nothing a typical Apatow product.


The Sign of Apatow: Melissa McCarthy.

What'd He Do? With Bridesmaids, helped the little-known Gilmore Girls actress become a major star.

How Apatow is It? Very. It's easy to imagine Apatow helming this foul-mouthed, probably hilarious road trip comedy.

Sex Tape

The Sign of Apatow: Jason Segel.

What'd He Do? Cast him in Freaks and Geeks, then, later, Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, among others.

How Apatow is It? Eh. Sex Tape looks too dumb to come from Apatow's mind.

Begin Again

The Sign of Apatow: The movie itself.

What'd He Do? Executive produced it.

How Apatow is It? Not like him at all — Begin Again , by the director of Once , is a musical dramedy that doesn't feature a single member of Apatow's regular crew. It's the first time he, as a producer, has branched out into smaller, more intimate films, and hopefully, judging by the quality of the trailers, it won't be the last.

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