Joseph Gordon-Levitt is more of a mainstream name again thanks to Christopher Nolan, but the former 3rd Rock from the Sun star was garnering accolades for his more dramatic and non-mainstream work as an adult actor well before Inception arrived last summer. He’s already popped up once on the big screen this year in Hesher – and he’ll do it again this fall in the dramedy 50/50.

50/50 previously went under the eyebrow-raising title I’m With Cancer, a reference to the disease that strikes Levitt’s character (Adam) in the film. It’s a situation that’s all too relatable for screenwriter Will Reiser, seeing that the story was based on his own bout with cancer.

Joining Levitt in 50/50 are the likes of Seth Rogen (who was also one of the film’s producers) as Adam’s best bud Kyle – along with a supporting cast populated by familiar faces like Anna Kendrick (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator: Salvation), Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston (The Royal Tenenbaums), Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia), and more.

Levitt in the role of a young man forced to handle an almost unfathomable situation certainly makes sense – but could Rogen’s trademark brand of raunchier humor possibly fit in a comedy-drama that involves his best friend being struck with a brain tumor? The answer just might surprise you.

Check out the 50/50 trailer (via Apple) below:

The idea of throwing together scenes of a sickly-looking Levitt as he mentally struggles to handle his condition, and moments like Levitt shaving his head with the same uncleaned electric razor that Rogen uses on his nether regions, might read like a bad idea on paper – but it actually proves to be quite effective in this trailer.

While Funny People also featured a number of the same ingredients as 50/50 (Rogen, lewd comedy, possibly fatal disease drama), the lattter appears to have its own unique feel – a movie that balances adult humor with genuine pathos. It also helps that Levitt is just a better dramatic lead than People‘s Adam Sandler – who, for the record, can pull off serious roles when he tries – and that the plot of 50/50 doesn’t look to embrace some of the cliches that the aforementioned Judd Apatow film eventually succumbed to.

50/50 arrives in U.S. theaters this fall on September 30th.

Source: Itunes Movie Trailers