One of my favorite things about "Knocked Up" was the amazing chemistry between Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as Pete and Debbie, the married couple who Katherine Heigl was living with.  For one thing, I could believe Mann and Heigl as sisters, and the way Pete and Debbie served as both a warning and a possibility for Seth Rogen's character.

We already knew that Judd Apatow was gearing up on his fourth film as a writer/director, and that he'd been working on the script for a while.  What we didn't know until now was that Pete and Debbie were going to be the main focus of this new film, and that Rudd and Mann would be returning to the characters.

I've seen people speculating about whether this would be a prequel or a sequel, but I figured the answer wouldn't be that easy.  After all, what do you call "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Get Him To The Greek"?  They're related, but is one really a sequel to the other?

I decided to ask Judd directly, and here's what he sent in reply:

"Thanks Drew.  It is neither.  It is just a story from Pete and Debbie's current life.

People really responded to their characters and problems.  I felt like there was a lot of ground I could explore with them, so we'll be shooting in July and will come out the following June.

There are some fun details yet to reveal but I will let them come out slowly.  It's more fun that way."

I agree, and I'm looking forward to seeing what story he felt like Pete and Debbie had in them.  Each film has been growth for Apatow so far, and I feel like him returning to characters organically like this is interesting precisely because of the way it subverts the typical notion of "franchise" filmmaking.

We'll definitely have more on this one as it comes into focus, and we'll see what he's got in mind in June of 2012.