There haven’t been many pop cultural phenomena like Paul Reuben’s Pee-Wee Herman. Pee-Wee’s Big adventure not only launched his career but also that of Tim Burton as a feature film director. It is a film that is still re-watchable to this day, as are the re-runs of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse that now air on IFC. His second and third films didn’t fare quite as well, and much of that seems to be due to directors not understanding the Pee-Wee character.
Now, 30 year’s after Big Adventure hit theaters, Reubens has just sat down with THR to talk about his career as Pee-Wee and his plans moving forward. You can check out the complete interview here, and we suggest you do, but we wanted to take a minute to share his idea for a new film.
In a stark departure from everything the character has ever been involved in, here’s how the movie is described:
Pee-wee emerges from prison to become an unlikely yodeling star; then moves to Hollywood and becomes a movie star; then he develops a severe pill and alcohol addiction that turns him into a monster. “I’ve referred to it as the Valley of the Dolls Pee-wee movie,” Reubens says, dead serious. “It’s about fame.”
While no studio has bit on the project yet, the Safdie Bros (Uncut Gems) are interested and a mega-fan has offered up $10 million to jump-start financing on the film.
Regardless of whether or not the movie ever happens, it’s not the only thing Reubens has in the works. He’s currently getting ready to embark on a 30-city tour where he’ll screen Big adventure and answer questions from the audience. Additionally, he’s getting ready to launch a Pee-Wee Podcast and he’s in talks to develop an animated series based on the puppets from his old TV show’s Puppetland.