by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief
It’s been a VERY long time since we last heard from Bill Hader about the comedic slasher film that he co-wrote with SNL writer Simon Rich for Judd Apatow.
When Hader initially spoke of the project back in 2009 he described it as “Straw Dogs meets Halloween meets Home Alone meets Monster Squad.” (Sounds AMAZING) He further elaborated on the idea a bit with C.H.U.D.:
It is definitely about guys nowadays, that idea that you watch fucked up shit on TV, how violence in our culture – this sounds really hoity toity – you watch fucked up reality shows, I love true crime shows. The idea of that thing coming to your house, and what do you do? I would shit my pants. That’s basically what the movie is about. What if that guy decided to come to your house? What would you and your dipshit friends do about it?
Hader last provided an update on the project back in 2011, telling The Playlist (Via FSR Since the Playlist’s link is now dead):
“Well, I’m not sure it’s called House of Joel anymore. I don’t know what’s happening with it exactly. Judd, me, and Jason Woliner are gonna meet in L.A. soon to figure out what the next steps are. It’s a funny, funny script and it’s Judd’s take on a slasher movie. It’s been a long gestating project, but I think it’s worth it because it just keeps getting better.”
There hasn’t been any new information about the project in five years since until last week’s Any Given Wednesday when host Bill Simmons asked Hader about the status of the project.
Bill Simmons: True or false: You once wrote a slasher film?
Bill Hader: I did. I once wrote a slasher film. Judd Apatow called up and said, ‘I would love to do what they did with Shaun of the Dead, but instead of zombie movies make it a slasher movie.’ So I wrote it with a series of writers, all my friends. We tried out different versions of that idea and it never worked because we realized zombie movies – zombies are like… they’re fantastical. It kind of lends itself to comedy because it’s not real. But a guy with a knife? That’s the ten o’clock news.
Bill Simmons: A serial killer, not as funny.
Bill Hader: Yeah, it wasn’t as funny. You couldn’t funny in that grounded way. You had to go really insane. You know what I mean? But the way that we wanted to do it, what Judd does really well, where it’s kind of in a real world. It’s not Zucker brothers or something like that. And we tried a lot of different things and it just kind of… both of us were like, ‘Eh this isn’t really working.’
It’s unfortunate that Hader and Apatow aren’t moving forward with this one as it sounds like a fun variation on the comedies coming from the Apatow camp. I would have been interested to see how this film played with the tone that Hader describes. When Hader first started takling about the project I was worried that it sounded like a play on Scary Movie, but their semi-grounded take sounds far more interesting than than a broad satire.