What’s with all the non-Judd Apatow comedies being announced tonight? I didn’t know you were allowed to make a comedy in Hollywood without winning the kingpin’s approval.
Thankfully, this one sounds much, much better than Man-Witch. Truth be told, I think it sounds downright hilarious. Written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Freaks and Geeks‘ Sam Weir – there’s your Apatow connection!), The $40,000 Man is about a "legendary astronaut" who sustains serious injuries in a car wreck, only to be rebuilt by the government as a bionic man for a good $5,960,000 less than was spent on Colonel Steve Austin.
This is a great premise. What worries me, however, is that Goldstein has done a lot of writing for a lot of not-so-good network sitcoms (e.g. The Geena Davis Show, Good Morning, Miami and The New Adventures of Old Christine). I’d hate to see something this potentially hysterical turn into a lame collection of sight gags tailored to the comedic genius of, say, Rob Schneider. Hopefully, Daley paid close attention working alongside Apatow and Paul Feig during the tragically brief run of Freaks and Geeks (though it is interesting that he’s pretty much gone off on his own to become a comedy writer); at least his script is in very competent hands with producers Chris Bender and JC Spink.
The project is set up at New Line. With a possible strike looming on the horizon, don’t be surprised if this gets rushed into production over the next few months.