Pee-wee Herman

The rumors of another movie featuring everyone’s favorite bicycle-riding rebel are true: another Pee-wee Herman movie is on the horizon. And it’s getting the all-star treatment, as producer Judd Apatow has been tapped to work with Paul Reubens on the development of the next chapter in the life of Pee-wee.

“Let’s face it, the world needs more Pee-wee Herman,” Apatow told Variety. “I am so excited to be working with Paul Reubens — who is an extraordinary and groundbreaking actor and writer. It’s so great to watch him return with such relevance.”

The partnership allegedly began after Apatow attended Reubens’ recent “Pee-wee Herman Show” revival at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, where it was received by packed houses throughout January and February. The show will move to Broadway and the Stephen Sondheim Theater starting in October. All the while, Reubens will work with Apatow and writer Paul Rust (Inglorious Basterds) on the new film.

“There is no one like Judd in our business — he loves comedy with emotion and heart, and he sees what we do as art,” Reubens said. “I can’t believe I’m getting this opportunity to be working with him.”

It’s been a long time coming for Reubens, whose revival this year came after two decades of being mostly away from show business after a public indecency charge was filed against him in Florida in 1991. The popular show Pee-wee’s Playhouse went off the air in 1990.

Here’s the question: what more is there to say with the story of Pee-wee Herman? It’s no secret that we love Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. It was the subject of last week’s Movies We Love entry, if you require proof of our affection. What I don’t see is how a two decades older Reubens can bring this character back to the big screen with the same amount of pizaz that he had in Tim Burton’s directorial debut. Then again, I didn’t see his live show in Los Angeles. I’m told that he’s got plenty of gas left in the tank. Perhaps Apatow can take that energy and give it a marketable, contemporary appeal. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with a new generation of kids getting some Pee-wee Herman. The character was always wholesome and entertaining.

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