It’s been a long time coming, but filming for Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie is set finally to begin “any minute, supposedly,” according to Paul Reubens, who created the iconic character at The Groundlings in 1977. It’s been almost 25 years since we last saw Reubens’ iconic character Pee-wee Herman on the big screen, so this is great news for fans of the bow-tie wearing oddball man-child.
Reubens (now aged 59) announced at a press conference that the long-awaiting film will being filming very soon, as well as hinting at “two incredibly exciting projects” that will follow the new Pee-Wee film:
“We have a meeting this coming week, and we just did a very quick little rewrite on it. As far as I know, it’s getting shot very soon. I actually wasn’t supposed to talk about it, initially. I was talking about it in this very veiled, secretive way, saying, ‘Oh, I wish I could talk about it.’ A journalist figured out that it was Judd Apatow that I was talking about because my writing partner was in the audience and he’s written so much with Judd. So, it got leaked about six months to a year before it was supposed to. I’ve been warned not to talk about any of my new projects, but that I can talk about because I blew it and it’s out. It’s even on IMDB now. So, that’s supposedly any minute. Right after that, I’m following that up with two incredibly exciting projects. I would give anything to be able to just brag to you right now and drop some names, but I can’t. “
Many of us grew up watching Reubens’ Pee-wee character on TV, film, and in theaters, so it’s not a surprise that this new film is already attracting a lot of attention. It’s been said Reubens and co-writer Paul Rust are attempting something similar to Jason Segel and Nick Stoller’s trick with The Muppets last year, and are finally ready to bring Pee-wee back to a wider audience – but can they pull it off? Let’s hope so. After all, The Muppets appeal to a huge audience, Pee-wee perhaps less so. Maybe Reubens and Rust will look to producer Judd Apatow’s influence and infamous magic touch to bring some wider appeal to the film?
Of course, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) was a much-loved children’s adventure film, and who can forget watching the eccentric character set-out across the US in search of his beloved bike? From ’86 to ’91, the successful show Pee-wee’s Playhouse kept youngsters entertained, and a second film, Big Top Pee-wee followed the first in 1988 (the less said about that one, though, the better). Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie certainly has a lot to live up to.
More recently, in 2010, Reubens brought The Pee-wee Herman Show to Broadway, and Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie has actually been on the cards for a few years now. You may have also seen Reubens in various cameos and guest appearances, on shows such as 30 Rock, Reno 911!, Dirt, and Pushing Daisies.
What are your thoughts on Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie?